KYIV, UKRAINE — Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania have reached an agreement to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland to third countries by transferring product inspections from the Polish border to a Lithuanian port.

The three-nation agreement means that Ukrainian grain exports — destined for markets in Africa and the Middle East in particular — will be taken directly through Poland instead of first being checked at the Poland-Ukraine border.

“Over the next two days, veterinary, sanitary, and phytosanitary control will be transferred from the Ukrainian-Polish border to the port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) for all agricultural cargoes heading to this port. This will speed up transit through Poland,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food said. 

The agreement was reached by Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland Robert Telus, and Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas during a regular online meeting Oct. 2.

“We agreed on an important matter,” Telus said at a press briefing, the Polish Press Agency reported. “From tomorrow, inspections (previously carried out) on the Ukrainian-Polish border, as regards grain transiting through Lithuania, will be carried out in Lithuania, in a Lithuanian port. This is a good thing in building this transit, in building this solidarity corridor that we, as Poland, have built in Europe.”

Ukraine has been struggling to export its grain since Russia’s February 2022 invasion and subsequent blockade of its ports. Poland, Slovakia and Hungary have extended their import bans on Ukrainian grain, which they say flooded their markets and depressed prices, but continue to allow the transit of Ukrainian agricultural goods to third countries.