Poland says talks with Ukraine on track amid grain dispute – National


Poland’s agriculture minister said on Wednesday talks with Ukraine were on track as the two countries try to resolve a dispute about a ban imposed by Warsaw on Polish grain imports.

Warsaw and Kyiv are allies, but relations have soured since Poland, Hungary and Slovakia decided to extend a ban that was introduced to protect farmers from a surge in grain and food imports from Ukraine after Russia’s invasion last year.

The Polish government is also under pressure from the far right to take a tougher stance on Ukraine before an election on Oct. 15.

“I am glad that we are talking about the future, that we are building mechanisms for the future and we are calming certain emotions that have not served us well, and this is probably a good direction,” the Polish minister, Robert Telus, told a press conference after online talks with Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky.

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Ukraine’s agriculture ministry said in a statement that Solsky would meet Telus in a week for further talks on a licensing procedure proposed by Kyiv.

Ukraine’s proposal involves the introduction of export licenses for corn, rapeseed, sunflower seed and wheat destined for export to five neighbouring countries in central Europe that are members of the European Union.

Under the proposal, Ukraine would agree on the list and volume of products with importing countries, which would determine whether they are ready to accept these goods.

“The Polish government is discussing this issue, in particular, determining who will agree on or not agree on to issue such licenses,” the Ukrainian ministry said.

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Telus reiterated a call for Ukraine to withdraw a complaint made against Poland at the World Trade Organization.

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“The Ukrainian minister said he would talk to the economy minister in Ukraine to consider withdrawing this complaint,” Telus said.

He also said that Poland was in the final stages of talks with Lithuania about organising the transit of Ukrainian grain to ports in the Baltic country.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Additional reporting by Yuliia Dysa, Editing by Anil D’Silva)


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