Poland to extend ban on Ukrainian grain after Sept. 15 says PM
Poland will prolong a full ban on Ukrainian grain imports in order to prevent a situation in which they can destabilise Poland's agriculture, the prime minister said in a televised message on Tuesday.
"The Council of Ministers adopted today a very important decision concerning the food safety of our country," Mateusz Morawiecki said.
"The ban will remain in force. We will not allow a situation in which Ukrainian grain destabilises rural Poland," the prime minister said.
On April 28, the EC reached an agreement with Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia on restrictions on imports of Ukrainian agri-food products, and on May 2 it announced the adoption of a temporary ban regarding imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine. Last month it prolonged the ban until September 15.
"The interests of Polish farmers as well as millions of Polish consumers will always be a top priority for the Law and Justice (PiS) government," Morawiecki declared.
Referring to the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Morawiecki said that Poland had behaved properly.
"All of us had risen to the challenge. All of us passed the test of solidarity," the prime minister continued, adding that Polish families had opened their hearts and their homes to Ukrainian war refugees.
"The Polish people have done for Ukraine more than any other European country," Morawiecki said, adding he had in mind humanitarian, military and political assistance.
Having accused the EU of not having noticed the problem of Ukrainian grain imports for too long, Morawiecki said that, in order to defend the interests of Polish farmers, in mid-April, Poland imposed a ban on grain imports from Ukraine.
According to Morawiecki, the EU's decision to open the door to imports of Ukrainian agri-products had led to an agricultural crisis in Europe, especially in the frontline countries, like Poland.
"Transit to third countries turned out to be a mechanism which made it possible for cheap Ukrainian grain to be sold in countries like Poland," Morawiecki said, adding that, unfortunately, there had been firms in Poland which used this opportunity and which were not interested in the situation of Polish farmers.
"Ukraine must understand that Poland's security is equally important as its own security, and that it is a top priority for us," Morawiecki continued, adding that "it is Russia which must pay for this war and not Polish farmers."
"As long as PiS holds power, it will be protecting Poland's countryside against any threats," the prime minister said, adding that the ruling party would always be defending national interests, "regardless of who will be making a threat."