Poland proposes subsidies for transport of Ukrainian grain

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Poland has called for European Commission (EC) to establish a financial instrument to support the transport of grain from Ukraine.

Robert Telus, the agriculture minister, told PAP on Thursday that the issue was raised at a meeting of the EC's working group on Ukrainian grain imports held in Brussels on Tuesday.

The need to transport Ukrainian grain by land has been emphasised by an increase in recent weeks of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s port facilities, in an apparent attempt to disrupt the export of grain by sea.

"Under the mechanism proposed by Poland transport companies could receive subsidies for each tonne of grain exported, preferably outside Europe," Telus said.

"It's about the price," he continued. "If grain now travels by land, you need to find the tools to mobilise those who trade in it - meaning companies. To push, encourage these companies to move this grain. Encourage them, even financially, in order to send it to the countries which will be lacking or are already lacking grain," he explained.

Telus said that Poland will "play hard" and keep raising the issue.

"I talked about it with every minister in the EU that I met; we either build solidarity, because that is acting for the future of the European Union, or we do our own thing and stop talking about European solidarity," he added.

During the meeting Poland also repeated its calls for an extension to the current ban on imports of four agricultural products - wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower - from Ukraine after September 15, Telus said.

Four other EU countries, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria are also in favour of extending the ban. 

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.