Poland reacts to Ukraine ‘putting on hold’ WTO grain complaint

Polish agriculture minister Robert Telus said on Thursday that he did not understand how Ukraine had ‘put on hold’ its complaint to the World Trade Organisation regarding limits on its grain imports, demanding that it be withdrawn.

Ukraine had filed lawsuits at the WTO against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary after they banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural products last month.

Taras Kachka, Ukraine’s trade representative, said on Thursday Kyiv's complaint to the WTO was on hold for the time being, citing the 60-day pre-arbitration consultation period provided for by the organisation's rules.

The consultation period gives the parties to the dispute time to reach an agreement with each other either independently or with the involvement of a mediator.

However, the Polish official said he "does not know what the suspension" means.

"We demand that the complaint be withdrawn because it is groundless and absurd. How can the Ukrainian government file a complaint against the Polish government if the Polish government is helping a Polish farmer? This is just absurd," Mr Telu told reporters.

"Our message to the Ukrainian side is as follows: If we want to improve the conditions for our relations, this complaint should simply be withdrawn, without talk about any suspension."