With Poland openly defying the European Commission decision not to extend the embargo on Ukrainian grain, there are questions as to how the EU will respond.
However, according to Polish commercial radio RMF, the European Commission will not be hurrying with such actions before the Polish general election, which is to take place on Oct.15.
According to the portal of RMF 24, a high-ranking official within the Commission said that “there is no appetite at present for any tough actions against Poland.”
Poland’s ban covers the import of wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, and rapeseed. It is not alone. Hungary and Slovakia have decided to also keep their embargoes in place.
Nevertheless, the EU is signaling that action may come at a later date. On Friday evening, a European Commission spokesperson reminded that “trade policy is the exclusive competence of the Commission,” leading to speculation that the Commission may take action against Poland, which could end up in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and lead to penalties.
Any action taken by the election before the Oct. 15 elections is likely to benefit the conservatives. For one, it will appear that the EU is intervening on behalf of Ukraine to the detriment of Polish farmers, who have been protesting the dumping of cheap Ukrainian grain across Poland and European markets. If Poland’s conservatives win, the EU may then step in to punish Poland. If they lose, Brussels may find itself working with a more accommodating government in Poland regarding the grain embargo.
Although Ukrainian grain cannot be sold in Poland, Poland’s agriculture minister, Robert Telus, said that Poland will continue to help Ukraine with the transit of its agricultural produce through Polish territory.
“The transit (of Ukrainian grain) will not harm the Polish market or Polish farmers,” he added.