20 Mar 2024 18:24

Poland intends to ban Ukrainian agricultural product transit until bilateral trade rules elaborated

MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) - A ban on the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products via Poland, which was previously banned from importing into the country, was among the conditions agreed by the Polish Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry in talks with farmers.

"We assume that this decision will remain in effect until an agreement on trade rules between Poland and Ukraine is reached, which will secure our market," Ukrainian media quoted Polish Agriculture Ministry's Secretary of State Michal Kolodziejczak as saying in a ministry's statement.

In line with the reached agreements the ministry will ask the Polish Council of Ministers to suspend the transit of products that are currently subject to embargo, he said. "All sensitive products should be blocked," the statement said.

A large part of the signed package of commitments concerns Polish-Ukrainian trade, Kolodziejczak said. "Today, the most important thing is to elaborate the rules of trade between Poland and Ukraine," he said.

Polish media reported that the point is to close transit as early as on April 1.

Among other points of agreement is to ensure the targeted subsidies to farmers and amendments to the European Union's Green Deal.

As reported, the ban on imports of wheat, barley, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine was first imposed by Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria on May 2, 2023 until June 5, 2023 and later extended until September 15, 2023 after a series of protests at the border involving its blocking.

The EU lifted the ban on September 15, 2023 after Ukraine pledged to take measures to tighten controls on exports to neighboring countries and later introduced licensing. However, on the same day, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia imposed unilateral bans on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products. Along with wheat, rapeseed, sunflower and corn, Poland banned the import of cereals and flour, while Hungary expanded the list to 25 items.

Nevertheless, since last fall, protests and blocking of the Ukrainian-Polish border have resumed and especially toughened last month.

The Ukrainian side expects to reach certain decisions on this issue at the upcoming bilateral talks in Warsaw on March 28, the media said.