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Poland protects agri sector by restricting Ukrainian grain, milk, poultry

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 15, 2023 8:08 PM 1 min read
Ccranes at the grain terminal of the port of Odessa, Ukraine, from where Ukraine ships wheat according to the grain agreement the country currently has with Russia. (BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)
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Poland has temporarily banned the import of Ukrainian produce to defend its domestic agricultural sector.

According to Polish Economic Development Minister Waldemar Buda, the ban includes grain, milk, eggs and poultry.  

The ban will last through June 30.

Ukraine is a major agricultural producer whose grain feeds the world. Russia's invasion and control of the Black Sea interrupted Ukraine's ability to export produce in early 2022.

It resumed in late summer after Ukraine and Russia signed the UN-led Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Polish farmers have been actively protesting against the significant influx of Ukrainian grain because of a threat to their domestic market.

Cheap Ukrainian grain has been flooding the EU market since the beginning of the invasion, helped by the European Union waiving customs duties and import quotas to keep Ukraine's agricultural sector running.

Low-price grain prices prove too tempting for local buyers and traders, undercutting local producers.

The dispute was reportedly settled during President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Poland on April 5, during which he met with top Polish officials.

"We discussed the issues regarding Polish and Ukrainian farmers. We found a solution," Zelensky said.

"Because there cannot be any questions or difficulties between such close partners and real friends as Poland and Ukraine," he said.

He advocated for tariffs on all agricultural products from Ukraine, calling it a significant battle between the European Commission and Poland to protect Polish agriculture.

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