Poland rejects Ukraine’s proposal to end grain embargo crisis

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

On Sept. 27, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Trade Taras Kachka said that if Poland, Hungary and Slovakia guarantee that they will not impose unilateral limits on Ukrainian products in the future, Ukraine will be able to withdraw its complaint from the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Piotr Muller, the Polish government’s spokesman, told the conservative TV station Republikaon on Sept. 28 that the Ukrainian proposal for withdrawing the WTO complaint is unacceptable because “Ukraine is in fact proposing that its food products should be able to enter without any limits being set.”

He added that “the embargo will continue until we are satisfied that the import of Ukrainian products will not negatively impact our agricultural markets, and that is not likely in the near future.” 

Muller also said that Poland was ready to discuss the matter with Ukraine but that “for the time being the embargo remains in force.” However, he felt that Ukraine withdrawing the complaint it filed with the WTO would be a positive development, “showing that Ukraine wants to negotiate with partners rather than confront them with lawsuits.” 

On Sept. 26, the agriculture ministers from the Visegrád Four states — Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia — held a meeting in Znojmo, Czechia, at which they held a teleconference with the Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky.

The four ministers agreed that the withdrawal of the complaint made to the WTO would facilitate better relations, but the Ukrainian minister did not answer Polish Deputy Agriculture Minister Robert Bartosik’s question about whether Ukraine would cancel its lawsuit.  

On Sept. 18, Kyiv filed a complaint with the WTO against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for the imposition of unilateral embargoes on Ukrainian grain, which the three EU member states imposed in defiance of the European Commission’s decision to lift the grain embargo that was in place between May and Sept. 15 of this year. 

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