Poland links Ukrainian grain embargo to Kyiv’s EU entry
Photo: EPA

Polish agriculture minister Robert Telus has called for an indefinite ban on the imports of Ukrainian grain, saying Kyiv cannot be granted European Union membership until all agricultural issues are resolved.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Telus said that he expected the European commission to extend the grain embargo at least until the end of the year.

He added that the ban should remain in place at least until all agricultural issues between the EU and Ukraine are agreed upon, including in terms of Ukraine's future EU membership.

"Under current conditions, Ukraine cannot join the European Union, as it will harm Polish agriculture," the Polish minister was quoted as saying.

It is necessary to build tools that will help ensure that Ukrainian food does not stay in the EU, he added.

"It is very important that the grain goes where it is needed and is important for the food security of the countries that need this grain," Mr Telus said, claiming Ukraine is exporting the same amount of grain now as before Russia’s full-scale invasion, but it remains ettling in Europe rather than going to Asia or Africa.

In mid-April, the EU’s executive arm and its five members, most notably Poland, agreed to introduce a temporary limitation on the imports of some of Ukraine’s agricultural produce amid concerns that those harm local farmers’ profits.

The ban was extended in June until mid-September with a EUR 100 million financial support package for farmers, and the EU stressed it was not intent on granting another extension.

Poland already announced on Tuesday it unilaterally extend the ban on the imports of the Ukrainian grain. Kyiv in turn said it would submit the dispute with Poland to World Trade Organization arbitration proceedings.