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Poland agrees to resume transit of Ukrainian grain

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 18, 2023 11:44 PM 2 min read
Unsold rye and corn grain on the farm of a member of the AgroUnia union in Sedziejowo, Poland, on Monday, April 17, 2023. (Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Poland has agreed to resume the transit of Ukrainian grain through its territory following April 18 negotiations between the countries, according to Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry.

The transit will restart overnight on April 21, for which additional control measures will be imposed, the ministry wrote.

"We will introduce electronic seals and the SENT system for these goods. The regulation will contain a record that will protect us from leaving goods in Poland," the office of Poland's prime minister tweeted, citing Poland's Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda.

"We managed to create such mechanisms that will ensure that not a single ton of grain will remain in Poland," Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus told reporters, as cited by Reuters, after the two-day Ukraine-Poland talks.

The announcement comes days after Warsaw and Budapest banned grain and other food imports from Ukraine until June 30 to protect local farmers, with some other European countries saying they were considering such a move.

Arianna Podesta, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said on April 16 that such decisions made by countries independently from the EU are unacceptable.

Hungary later agreed not to impede the transit of Ukrainian grain through its territory, according to Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi.

After starting its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia blocked Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, hindering Ukraine from exporting its grain and forcing Kyiv to start exporting overland through neighboring countries.

Large quantities of cheaper grain stayed in Central European states, affecting the prices and sales at domestic markets.

The issue has created a political problem for Poland's ruling nationalist Law and Justice party during an election year, as it has heavy support among the rural population.

Agriculture Minister: Russia’s grain corridor sabotage could lead to higher food prices
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Russia’s blockage of Ukrainian seaports triggered a global food crisis. The global food crisis was partially resolved in July when an UN-backed grain deal was reached, forcing Russia to unblock three ports in Odesa Oblast for…
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