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Ukrainian grain in Poland. Maciej Sokołowski on the position of the European Commission

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Poland calls for limiting the influx of Ukrainian grain to our country. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that he would send a letter on this matter to the European Commission. The case of Ukrainian grain will be analyzed – said Maciej Sokołowski, TVN24 correspondent in Brussels, referring to information obtained from the European Commission.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during Wednesday’s press conference, he announced that he would send a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, regarding the influx of Ukrainian grain to Poland. The head of the government said that the letter will propose “all possible measures, including quotas, protective duties, various provisions that will limit imports on the basis of the country of destination, which in this case would be Poland.”

Morawiecki assured that there would be no obstacles if someone wanted to transport grain through Polish territory to Gdańsk and from there further to Africa and Near East or to other countries of the world.

What will the European Commission do?

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Maciej Sokołowski, TVN24 correspondent in Brussels, referring to information obtained from the European Commission, informed that the issue of Ukrainian grain will be analyzed. – European Commission does not rule out anything, but it reminds us what regulations are in force now and why grain can enter the European Union much easier than before the outbreak of the war – said Sokołowski.

– The Commission recalls solidarity with Ukraine, it is for this reason that such facilitations were introduced in June last year for one year and in June this year they may be extended for another year. This is what the European Commission wants, so that such import facilitations for Ukraine continue to apply, precisely because this country is struggling with Russian aggression and should European Union also help in this way, opening borders more widely, also opening the EU market more widely – he added.

At the same time, the TVN24 correspondent noted that the European Commission “also hears the appeals of the Polish Prime Minister and Polish farmers and will check whether it is really the case that the grain, which should ultimately go elsewhere, for example to Africa, stays in Poland”.

However, the analyzes – he added – may end “only when the regulations facilitating imports are extended in June”. Then the European Commission “will be able to reach for other instruments, those mentioned by the Polish Prime Minister, i.e. renewed restrictions, duties, once again imposed on Ukrainian grain” – said Sokołowski.

– So, first, facilitations, then a little step back on these facilitations, if they disturb the market and harm Polish farmers and the European Union – summed up the TVN24 correspondent in Brussels.

Aid for farmers

The European Commission announced on Thursday that an aid package of EUR 56 million to support farmers in front-line countries, who have to face the consequences of the appearance of a large amount of agri-food products from Ukraine on the EU market, has been approved by all Member States and measures can be launched.

Support for farmers was announced a week ago by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Poland requested the activation of the funds.

“We want to prioritize grain”

Prime Minister Morawiecki said at Wednesday’s conference that he had instructed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Henryk Kowalczyk to develop appropriate rules “that will not only allow us to liquidate part of the grain that has been accumulated in Poland, that is, to sell it in North Africa, in the Middle East – where grain was to be delivered – but also the introduction of appropriate regulations, records that will allow to limit the influence of Ukrainian grain to Poland.

On Wednesday, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, a roundtable was held on the situation on the market in connection with the amount of Ukrainian grain imported to Poland. Deputy Prime Minister Kowalczyk said on Thursday in Jedynka radio that there would be logistical changes.

– We want to prioritize grain. Coal was prioritized over the winter. Ports were supposed to unload coal, trains were also supposed to transport coal in the first place – pointed out the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Kowalczyk noted that now “this priority is changing and it will be grain – both at PKP and in ports.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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