Ukraine’s agriculture minister, Mykola Solskyi said on Monday that the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv plans to secure re-opening of the transit of food and grain through Poland as “a first step”.
According to Reuters, this was during talks in Warsaw following Poland and Hungary’s decision to prohibit some imports from Ukraine.
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February in 2023, some Black Sea ports were closed, resulting in logistical bottlenecks that prevented large quantities of Ukrainian grain, which is less expensive than European Union-produced grain, from being transported out of the region and into Central European nations.
This had a negative impact on local farmers, who experienced decreased prices and sales, leading to calls for action from EU governments before Warsaw and Budapest made their own decisions over the weekend.
Poland’s ban on grains, which came into force on Saturday evening, also applied to transit through the country. Officials have stated that this was done to prevent grain transport from entering the Polish market.
In comments published on the Telegram messaging app by the Agriculture Ministry, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister, Mykola Solsky said, “The first step, in our opinion, should be the opening of transit, because it is quite important and it is the thing that should be done unconditionally and after that we will talk about other things,”
“In terms of figures, everything that crossed the Polish border (from Ukraine)… is about 10% of everything (of food goods) Ukraine exported.”
The agriculture minister of Ukraine mentioned that deliveries to Hungary accounted for approximately 6% of the country’s agricultural exports, but transit of Ukrainian food through Hungary and Slovakia was not affected. Furthermore, he revealed that additional talks were planned for Wednesday in Romania and Thursday in Slovakia.
According to Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus, talks between Ukraine and Poland were scheduled to begin in Warsaw at around 12:00 p.m. (1000 GMT) and will be held on TVP Info.
Ukraine usually exports its agricultural products, particularly grain, through its Black Sea ports. These ports were reopened in July last year after an agreement was reached between Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, and the United Nations.