Poland will extend its ban on imports of grain from Ukraine after the current European Union restrictions expire on Friday, raising tensions with its war-torn eastern neighbor and Brussels.
(Bloomberg) — Poland will extend its ban on imports of grain from Ukraine after the current European Union restrictions expire on Friday, raising tensions with its war-torn eastern neighbor and Brussels.
The government in Warsaw will approve the decision on Tuesday, according to Agriculture Minister Robert Telus. Meanwhile, Hungary reiterated that the import restrictions should be extended after Sept. 15 until at least the end of the year.
“We’re convinced that the EU is wavering and will allow for the extension” of the current restrictions, Telus said in a radio interview on Tuesday. if it doesn’t, then we’re going to act tough because it’s in the interest of Polish farmers.”
Earlier this week, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka warned that Kyiv will file a complaint at the World Trade Organization if Poland introduces a unilateral ban on Ukrainian grain. The government in Warsaw will still allow for the transit of Ukraine grain through its territory to the ports on the Baltic Sea or to be sold elsewhere in the EU.
Read more: Eastern Europe Is Jeopardizing Ukraine’s Economic Lifeline
The decision comes little more than a month before a parliamentary election on Oct. 15. Farmers are an important constituency for the ruling Law & Justice party, which is fighting to stay in power for a third term. The glut of grain imports on the domestic market sparked protest earlier this year.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have each pushed for an extension, while Romania and Bulgaria have expressed more flexibility on the arrangements at EU-wide talks. Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy is holding talks on the matter with his counterparts from Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, he said in a video on his Facebook page.
–With assistance from Andras Gergely.
(Updates with Hungarian context starting in the second paragraph)
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