Polish PM warns Ukraine over escalation of grain import conflict
If Ukraine escalates the agricultural products import conflict, Poland will expand the list of banned Ukrainian goods, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said.
Poland has decided to extend an embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain after the European Commission said last week it would not extend an EU ban beyond its September 15 expiry date.
Warsaw's move caused a harsh reaction from Kyiv, including a complaint to the World Trade Organization.
On Tuesday, Taras Kachka, Ukraine's deputy minister of economy and trade, signalled in an interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita that in the coming days Ukraine will introduce an embargo on Polish onions, tomatoes, cabbage and apples.
But Morawiecki said the Polish embargo could be expanded if Ukraine decides to ban Polish agricultural products.
"I am warning the Ukrainian authorities because - if they escalate this conflict in this way - we will add more products to the import ban into the territory of the Republic of Poland."
Morawiecki added that Poland does not agree with any procedures, regulations, ordinances or lawsuits brought against it.
"We were the first to do a lot for Ukraine and that is why we expect our interests to be understood and we will defend our interests with all determination," the Polish prime minister said. "This means that, of course, we respect all the problems on the Ukrainian side, but for us the interests of our farmer are the most important, the interests of the Polish agricultural sector."
The grain imports conflict drew a wedge between the so-far close allies, Poland and Ukraine, despite the strong support Kyiv has received from Warsaw in its fight against the Russian invasion, both in terms of military supplies and advocacy on the international arena.