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Duda: Poland prepares transit corridors for Ukrainian grain

by Daria Shulzhenko September 24, 2023 3:30 PM 2 min read
Polish President Andrzej Duda photographed during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on Sept. 19. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Poland has prepared transit corridors for Ukrainian grain to pass through and be "exported to where it is needed," Polish President Andrzej Duda said in an interview with local channel TVP1 on Sept. 24.

"Transit corridors have been prepared in Poland, thanks to which Ukrainian grain can pass through Poland and be exported where it is needed. We are trying to help Ukraine and those countries that require this help," Duda said, as quoted by his office.

Ukraine's dispute with Poland, traditionally one of its most ardent supporters in its struggle against Russian aggression, was sparked by Warsaw's decision to extend the import ban on Ukrainian grain products past its expiration date set by the EU on Sept. 15.

The EU instituted the measure in May at the request of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, who feared that the influx of cheaper Ukrainian products would put pressure on their farmers.

"I believe that it is the right decision that the Polish government has maintained the ban on the sale of Ukrainian grain on the Polish market. However, we must do everything to ensure that transit is as high as possible," Duda said in his recent interview.

He also said that "thanks to the work of our farmers, we are self-sufficient," adding that Poland does not need grain from Ukraine.

"Very little of their excellent harvests, during the war, reached the countries that actually needed them," Duda said.

Earlier on Sept. 22, Duda said that disagreement over grain exports should not upend Polish-Ukrainian relations.

The grain dispute is just "an absolute fragment of the Polish-Ukrainian relations" and that it should not threaten the close ties between the two countries, the president added.

Although the BBC connected the grain dispute to the weapons announcement, other media outlets have linked the increasingly strong language used by the Polish government towards Ukraine as an electoral tactic ahead of the upcoming Polish parliamentary elections set for Oct. 15.

Poland threatens further import bans, summons Ukrainian ambassador over grain dispute
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned that Warsaw may expand the list of banned Ukrainian goods if Kyiv imposes its own import embargo on certain Polish food products, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported on Sept. 20.
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