17 Apr 2023 17:36

Kiev offers to hold new negotiations with Warsaw on imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry believes that Poland's decision to ban the import of Ukrainian agricultural products goes against previous agreements and proposes to agree on a new memorandum of understanding with Poland in the coming days, Ukrainian media reported, citing the ministry.

The ministry expects his memorandum will take cater for the interests of Ukraine and Poland and will regulate the transit of agricultural produce through Polish territory.

"The Agrarian Policy Ministry, for its part, has always been sympathetic to the situation in the Polish agricultural sector and has promptly responded to various kinds of challenges," the ministry said.

The parties agreed in early April that four crops - wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and rapeseed - would only go through Poland in transit until July 1, 2023. Later, they reached a number of agreements on "cooperation in agriculture and resolving logistics problems and agreed on the text of a memorandum of understanding," the ministry said. However, Poland imposed a ban, contrary to these agreements.

The ministry believes resolving various kinds of issues by drastic unilateral actions will not contribute to a swift solution to the situation, and say there should be no misunderstandings between Ukraine and Poland and business entities.

"At the same time, Ukrainian agricultural producers are sympathetic to the needs of their Polish colleagues, hope for mutual understanding and expect a constructive dialogue to reach a coordinated decision," the ministry said.

It also said it was ready to cooperate Poland in investigating any abuses that may have taken place in this matter and led to the current situation.

"The crisis phenomena should prompt our states to work even more closely in all areas," the ministry said.

Earlier it was reported that three EU countries - Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - are banning the import of Ukrainian grain to protect their farmers. Bulgaria may follow suit. The European Commission said independent decisions of individual countries, such as Poland and Hungary, regarding restrictions on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine were unacceptable.

Poland has banned the import of not only grain, but of any agricultural products from Ukraine until June 30, 2023.

On April 14, the ministers of the Visegrad Four countries Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, as well as Romania and Bulgaria, held online negotiations on the situation with regard to Ukrainian grain. According to their results, Slovak Minister Samuel Vlcan said that at the Agrifish Council, which brings together agrarian and fisheries ministers of the European Union, he plans to present the use of an EU tool through which Ukrainian grain would be purchased in cooperation with the UN World Food Program. This will help Ukraine in a difficult situation and at the same time protect the EU market from the dumping of goods from Ukraine, he said.

The Associated Press has said the European Union's decision to exempt agricultural products from Ukraine from duties led to a glut on local markets and lower prices. This is causing discontent among European farmers.

Ukrainian grains and oilseeds enter and remain in unprecedented quantities in EU member states bordering Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian agro-industrial complex has begun to export a large amount of poultry meat, eggs and honey to Europe, the Hungarian Agriculture Ministry said.