Ukraine is angry with its ally, Poland, because the country wants to embargo Ukrainian grain for a long time. Ukraine’s interior minister, Denis Shmihal, called it a “populist and unfriendly decision” on Twitter.
Poland and Ukraine have been at war for the past few months. Since the outbreak of war, Ukraine has been looking for ways to export grain production. A stable route by sea was available only in bits and pieces and only because a UN-led grain deal with Russia was concluded. It has now collapsed.
An alternative is to export grain overland via Poland and other neighboring countries of Ukraine. The European Union decided that there would be no import duties on cereals for a while. However, as a result, the economies of those countries were flooded with Ukrainian grain, causing their own grain prices to fall sharply.
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria later decided not to allow Ukrainian grain into their markets. A compromise was reached when those countries agreed with the European Commission that they would only facilitate transit to the rest of Europe. That deal runs until September 15, but to Ukraine’s chagrin, Poland wants to extend it at least until the end of the year.
Now that the grain deal with Russia has ended, Ukraine is experiencing a slap in the face. Re-allowing Ukrainian grain “shows solidarity not only with us, but also with the world that relies on our grain,” Schmihal said.
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