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European Commission will represent EU states in WTO on grain dispute

by Rachel Amran September 27, 2023 6:14 AM 2 min read
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The European Commission will represent Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in the grain dispute with Ukraine at the World Trade Organization, Polish news outlet PAP reported on Sept. 26.

According to PAP, proceedings at the WTO over Ukraine's complaints against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary over grain agreements are due to begin shortly.

"On Tuesday a decision was made that the European Commision will represent EU countries in the dispute before the WTO," an EU source told PAP. "The EU delegation includes experts from Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary."  

Disagreements about grain exports escalated tensions between Poland and Ukraine in recent days. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki forcefully responded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's speech at the U.N. General Assembly, stating that he "should never insult Poles again."

During his speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York, Zelensky called out the "alarming" behavior of Ukraine's partners regarding the grain import bans.

In May, the Commission imposed a ban on sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed in five EU countries: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The nations requested the measure due to fears from local farmers that cheap Ukrainian imports would drive down agriculture prices.

Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia decided to implement their own bans on Ukrainian grain imports on Sept. 16 despite the European Commission's decision to end the embargo the day before.  

Although the Commission decided not to extend the ban, three of the five countries will continue to restrict imports of Ukrainian agricultural products.

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