Ukrainian agriculture minister ready for talks, says Telus

"I am waiting for the Ukrainian minister and for what the Ukrainian side will do," Telus said. Paweł Supernak/PAP

The Polish agriculture minister has told PAP that his Ukrainian counterpart has asked him to start talks regarding grain.

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. In turn, Warsaw warned it could put more Ukrainian goods on the sanctions list.

But Ukraine's agriculture minister, Mykola Solskiy, has made an attempt to cool down the dispute, according to his Polish counterpart, Robert Telus.

"I have told him that we are ready to hold talks but that certain things must be put in order," Telus told PAP on Thursday.

"...I suggested that Ukraine should withdraw its complaint from the World Trade Organization as this is the condition necessary for us to sit down to talks and discuss future solutions, and, of course, to secure Poland's interests," Telus continued.

"I am waiting for the Ukrainian minister and for what the Ukrainian side will do," Telus said, adding that both the words spoken by the Ukrainian side and the steps it had taken "do not serve Polish-Ukrainian relations."

Referring to the current problem, the minister said that Poland suggested that a solidarity corridor should be established to make it possible for Ukrainian grain to move through Poland but not to enter the country.

Relations between the two countries, which have become extremely close owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have become fraught recently over the Polish government's increased assertiveness in protecting the local farming sector.

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