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Polish minister: Talks on licensing system for Ukrainian goods may finish this week

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 25, 2024 9:32 PM 1 min read
A pile of maize grains is seen on the pier at the Izmail Sea Port, Odesa Oblast, on July 22, 2023. Illustrative purposes only. (Stringer/ AFP via Getty Images)
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Talks on creating a licensing system for trading Ukrainian goods have progressed and may be completed already this week, Poland's Economic Development and Technology Minister Krzysztof Hetman said in a comment for Radio Lublin published on March 25.

The negotiations specifically concern cereals, rapeseed, corn, sugar, poultry, eggs, soft fruits, and apples.

Polish farmers launched a new blockade at Ukraine's border in response to Ukrainian agricultural imports and EU environmental policies in February.

The two key demands by Polish farmers include higher subsidies and the postponement of the Green Deal, which aims to halve pesticide use, lower fertilizer use, and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Hetman noted that the farmers' demands regarding the Green Deal have already been met. Due to a surplus in wheat and corn, the Polish government is also planning to allocate subsidies for grain sales, the minister said.

"I would also like to stress that when it comes to grains, we hope – because this is what we discussed with the Ukrainian said – that even the transit, primarily of corn and wheat, will expire on April 1," Hetman said.

Disputes over Ukrainian agricultural imports escalated last year, putting an increasingly heavy strain on Ukraine's relationship with Poland, traditionally one of its staunch supporters against Russian aggression.

As Polish farmers complained that cheaper Ukrainian goods created unfair competition, Warsaw banned the import of five agricultural products, including grain, corn, and rapeseed. The measure did extend on goods transiting to other countries.

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