Poland will defy Ukrainian grain ban termination says PM
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said that Poland will extend a ban on imports of Ukrainian grain beyond September 15, despite the European Commission (EC) deciding to lift its own ban on Friday.
Poland's decision to apply a unilateral ban could cause further friction with Brussels.
In May, the EC said it would apply a temporary ban on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The ban was extended in early June to September 15, although Poland urged the EC to extend the embargo on the Ukraine grain imports beyond this date.
On Friday, the EC said that "the market distortions in the five Member States bordering Ukraine have disappeared... as a result, it has been agreed that existing measures will expire today."
Reacting to the news, Morawiecki said on Friday: "We will extend this ban despite their disagreement, despite the European Commission's disagreement.”
"We will extend the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain. We will not listen to Berlin or (EC head Ursula - PAP) von der Leyen, (Polish opposition leader Donald - PAP) Tusk or (European People's Party leader Manfred - PAP) Weber. We will do it because it is in the interest of the Polish farmer," he said.
Later on Friday, Piotr Mueller, the government spokesman, announced that Poland will immediately impose its own ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products.
"As announced by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a regulation extending the embargo on Ukrainian grain will be issued and published today," he told PAP.
"We do not agree with the European Commission's decision and in the interest of Polish farmers and consumers, we are introducing national measures," Mueller added.