Poland not to lift grain ban following Ukraine's complaint with WTO

Such a complaint with the WTO has made no impression on us, Piotr Mueller said Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland does not plan to lift its ban on Ukraine's grain imports as the complaint filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Ukraine has made no impression on Warsaw, the Polish government spokesman has said.

Piotr Mueller made the statement during a Polsat News private television programme on Monday after Ukraine had filed a complaint against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over the extension of their unilateral bans on agri-produce imports from Ukraine.

On September 15, the European Commission (EC) said that an EU embargo on Ukrainian grain entering five member states - Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia - would not be extended as "the market distortions in the five frontline countries have disappeared."

Poland decided to extend the ban despite the EC's disagreement. Slovakia and Hungary also announced restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports. 

"We uphold our decision," Mueller said. "Such a complaint with the WTO has made no impression on us and we do not plan to withdraw from our decision to extend the ban.

"...we believe that our position is proper as it has been based on an economic analysis as well as our rights stemming from the EU and international law," the spokesman added.

Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in a communique that Ukraine had filed the complaint as it wanted to prove that individual EU countries could not impose a ban on Ukrainian goods. She also expressed hope that the three countries would lift their restrictions and that it would not be necessary to meet in court to clear up the problem.

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