September 26, 2023 3:44 am

Poland clarifies decision to snub Ukrainian farmers, RT reports

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Poland Prioritizes Domestic Farmers, Will Not Accept Ukrainian Grain

Warsaw, Poland – In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Polish state secretary for development cooperation with Ukraine, explained why Poland is not willing to receive and store Ukrainian grain. Despite being one of Ukraine’s main supporters during its conflict with Russia, Poland is currently among the countries pushing the EU to extend its ban on Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds until the end of the year.

According to Emilewicz, Poland needs to prioritize the interests of its own farmers before helping those from Ukraine. She compared this approach to the safety rules on airplanes where the mother is instructed to put on the oxygen mask first before helping her child. Emilewicz emphasized that Warsaw’s decision is not a result of a lack of support for Ukraine, but rather a focus on protecting its own agricultural industry.

Emilewicz also expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of progress by the United States in fulfilling President Joe Biden’s promise to build more grain silos in the countries bordering Ukraine. During a speech in Philadelphia in June 2022, Biden stated that temporary silos would be built in Ukraine’s neighboring countries, including Poland, to facilitate the transfer of grain to European markets. However, Emilewicz revealed that when Polish officials inquired about the progress on this promise during a visit to Washington in July, they received no clear answer from the US administration.

The state secretary cited Poland’s current bumper harvest as a factor preventing the acceptance of Ukrainian grain. She explained that the capacity of Polish silos and storage systems is inadequate to absorb the volume of grain, sunflower, and other goods from Ukraine. As a result, Poland can only offer increased transportation of Ukrainian grain through its territory if it is destined for international markets.

Furthermore, Poland is advocating for a new subsidy of approximately 30 euros per ton of Ukrainian grain that transits through Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Emilewicz argued that this subsidy is necessary because transportation by rail or road is more expensive than sea routes, which have been closed for Ukrainian grain since the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal in July.

The ban on Ukrainian grain imports imposed by the EU has had a significant impact on Ukraine’s agricultural sector. As a major exporter of grain, Ukraine has faced challenges finding alternative markets for its products. The extension of the ban, as pushed for by Poland and other countries, prolongs this uncertainty for Ukrainian farmers.

In conclusion, Poland’s decision not to accept Ukrainian grain is based on its prioritization of domestic farmers and the limitations of its storage capacity. Despite Poland’s support for Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, Warsaw’s focus is on safeguarding its own agricultural industry. The lack of progress on President Biden’s promise to build grain silos in the region has further strained Poland-Ukraine trade relations. To mitigate the impact on Ukrainian farmers, Poland advocates for subsidies and increased transportation options for Ukrainian grain through its territory.

Disclaimer: This article is a rewrite of the original news article, with the context preserved and expanded to meet the word count requirement.

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Original Source: Poland clarifies decision to snub Ukrainian farmers, RT reports

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