19 Jul 2023 16:37

Poland not planning to lift embargo on agricultural imports from Ukraine - PM

WARSAW. July 19 (Interfax) - Poland is not planning to open its borders to imports of agricultural produce from Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

"We care about our agriculture, and therefore, we aren't opening our borders to agricultural products from Ukraine," Polish radio quoted Morawiecki as saying on Wednesday.

The conflict in Ukraine is having an increasingly more serious effect on the agricultural market, "and this is negatively influencing the Poles, and that's why we have imposed an embargo on products from Ukraine," Morawiecki said.

He acknowledged that, "in a couple of months, the EU intends to reopen the borders for bringing in grain from Ukraine."

"We disagree with that, we won't open our borders and won't allow our economy's destabilization. We have to protect Poland's interests and our agricultural sector," Morawiecki said.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania secured the European Commission's consent to ban imports of grain, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine starting May 2.

Agricultural producers in a number of European countries started experiencing problems over an excess of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural produce on the markets of Eastern European countries in the first months of 2023. The situation was prompted in many ways by the EU's decision to temporarily lift import duties on Ukrainian grain and oilseed crops, which substantially increased shipments of Ukrainian agricultural produce to neighboring countries.

Ukrainian products, including grain, sunflower, eggs, poultry meat, sugar, apples and apple juice, berries, flour, honey, and pasta flooded grocery stores in those countries, prompting prices to fall and hitting local farming businesses.