The Ukrainian agricultural lobby group, the milk board (SMPU), is demanding tit-for-tat actions against Poland for Poland’s actions against Ukrainian food imports. The SMPU has expressed disappointment in the outcome of the negotiations between the Polish and Ukrainian governments, which may have solved the issue of transit of agricultural products but have not ended the ban on the import of Ukrainian milk to Poland.
The SMPU has also said that the decisions with regard to trade should be taken by the European Commission and not Poland.
Arsen Dydor, the chief of Ukraine’s state-run Agricultural University, said that Ukraine should defend its interests in a similar way to how the EU defends its farmers.
“We have to learn from them how to protect ourselves and respect ourselves,” he said, adding that there is no point in being content with the fact that transit has now been allowed.
This is why he feels it is only fair for Poland to only be able to export its milk to Moldova. He claimed that the stance of the Ukrainian dairy industry is backed by the European Dairy Association and that their Polish counterparts in the dairy industry understand the position they have taken.
Last weekend, the Polish government banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural produce until June 30. On Tuesday, the Polish and Ukrainian governments reached an agreement with regard to the transit of Ukrainian products through Poland. However, all imports will be monitored, and the cargo will be sealed.
The crisis has materialized as a result of massive imports of Ukrainian grain filling up Polish silos and reducing the price of grain on the Polish market. The situation led to protests from Polish farmers and the resignation of the previous Polish minister of agriculture.