Ukraine hopes that the European Commission will lift restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grain on Sept. 15, as per the agreement reached in June, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a Twitter post on Sept. 14.
“Ukraine expects the European Commission to keep its word and lift all restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural exports tomorrow,” said the minister.
“No form of continuing the ban is acceptable since it would undermine the single market, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, and trust in EU commitments.”
On June 5, the European Commission imposed a ban on the export of wheat, barley, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria until Sept. 15. Ukrainian grain can only transit through those countries.
The dispute started in April when Poland banned the import of grain from Ukraine. Prior to this, Polish farmers had been protesting the transportation of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland to third countries for several months. They claimed that a significant portion of Ukrainian grain was not being forwarded in transit, but instead accumulating in Poland, thereby distorting the internal market and driving down the prices of Polish farmers' produce.
On Sept. 12, Poland decided to extend the ban on grain imports from Ukraine beyond Sept. 15.
One EU diplomat said he believes that the decision to extend import restrictions was "purely political," as Poland is headed for elections in mid-October. In response to this, a high-ranking Polish official admitted that the forthcoming "elections played their role."
Hungary announced that it had reached an agreement with Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria on imposing national bans on importing Ukrainian grain if the EU does not extend its ban, which ends on Sept. 15.
Earlier on Sept. 14, the Bulgarian parliament supported lifting the ban on imports of grain from Ukraine.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine