WARSAW, POLAND — Poland announced on Sept. 12 that it will not lift its embargo of imports of Ukrainian grain this week as originally planned.
Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said resuming imports would hurt Polish farmers.
“Poland will not allow Ukraine grain to flood us,” Morawiecki said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “Regardless of the decisions of the clerks in Brussels (Belgium), we will not open up our borders.”
Morawiecki was referring to an upcoming meeting of the European Union Parliament where the issue will be discussed. If Poland were to go against the EU’s decision on the matter, it would violate the bloc’s common trade rules.
Cheaper Ukraine grain began flooding the Polish market after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2022. Last year, the EU established solidarity lanes to facilitate grain exports from war-torn Ukraine, which had its ports blocked. Huge flows of cheap Ukrainian grain ended up in central European countries, affecting grain prices for local farmers. Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria also have imposed embargoes on Ukraine agricultural products to protect their farmers.
Although Poland has staunchly supported Ukraine with humanitarian and military assistance against Russia’s invasion, which is in its 20th month, it imposed the embargo in April after its farmers protested that the imports were depressing domestic grain prices. The embargo was scheduled to end on Sept. 15.
Ukraine has said it will make an appeal to the World Trade Organization if the embargoes are not lifted.