Kyiv formally notifies Warsaw of plans to challenge Polish grain import ban in court
Photo: press service of the Cabinet of Ministers

Ukraine will submit its grain embargo dispute with Poland to World Trade Organization arbitration proceedings, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced on X (formerly Twitter).

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"Despite the war and the Russian blockade of our ports, Ukraine is fulfilling its obligations under both the Association Agreement with the EU and WTO law. We have no intention of harming Polish farmers. We greatly appreciate the support of the Polish people and Polish families! But in case of violation of trade law in the interest of political populism before the elections, Ukraine will be forced to turn to WTO arbitration to obtain compensation for violation of GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] norms," Shmyhal said.

The prime minister's words about political populism are related to the fact that on October 15, another parliamentary election will be held in Poland to elect the entire composition of the Sejm and the Senate.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country will not abandon the embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain, even if it is lifted at the level of the European Union.

"I assure the entire Polish countryside that we will firmly defend the Polish farmer. We will not put up with EU bureaucrats imposing their power on us," he said.

The temporary European embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain to five EU countries ends on September 15.

In mid-April 2023, Poland, followed by Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, under the pressure of local producers, suspended the import of grain and other food products from Ukraine.

The countries agreed to cancel unilateral restrictions only after long negotiations with the European Union, as a result of which the European Commission agreed to allocate 100 million euros for compensation to farmers of Ukraine's neighboring countries. After that, at the level of the European Union, an embargo on the import of several grain and oil crops from Ukraine was approved by five countries of Eastern Europe: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania.

These restrictions are valid until the middle of September, and the European Commission does not plan to extend them.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Europe to lift the grain embargo because "any restrictions against Ukrainian exports are now unacceptable."