Grain dispute will not seriously impact relations with Ukraine says Duda
Andrzej Duda, Poland's president, has described a dispute over Ukrainian grain imports to Poland as minor, and said that it will not seriously harm bilateral relations.
Speaking at the Common Future Congress for Reconstruction of Ukraine in the western city of Poznan on Friday, Duda dismissed the spat as insignificant in the broader context.
"I have no doubt that the dispute over the supply of Ukrainian grain to the Polish market is absolutely a 'splinter' in the whole of Polish-Ukrainian relations," the president said in a speech to the congress. "I do not believe it can impact them in a serious way. It is an issue that we simply must resolve among ourselves."
Polish-Ukrainian relations have come under pressure recently from the grain dispute. Earlier this month, Poland decided to maintain an embargo on some Ukrainian agri-products, including wheat and maize, owing to concerns a glut of imports from its eastern neighbour could damage Polish farming.
Ukraine has taken exception to the ban, and has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
Duda said he understood that many congress delegates may have been made anxious by recent events and exchanges of words in the media and on political forums, but continued: "To me, cooperation with Ukraine and support for Ukraine has a historic dimension. I say that in all seriousness - historic between our nations (and) countries. This is not simply some event, some action."
He described the aid given by Poles and Polish companies to Ukraine and its citizens fleeing the war as "an enormous capital of interpersonal ties that has emerged between our countries and nations," and said no political dispute could undermine that capital.