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Poland prepares new trade restrictions for Ukraine: new government talks about 20-year embargo

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Poland does not want to see Ukrainian agricultural products on its market
Poland does not want to see Ukrainian agricultural products on its market

Poland wants to increase trade restrictions on Ukraine. In particular, the new government has already started talking about closing the Polish agricultural market to Ukraine for 20 years after our country joins the EU. Moreover, farmers are demanding a complete ban on sugar imports from Ukraine to Poland. The reason is competition: the Poles believe that Ukrainian supplies allegedly threaten local businesses.

The proposal to fence off the Polish agricultural market from Ukraine was voiced in an interview with RMF24 by Polish Deputy Minister of Agriculture Michal Kolodziejczak. He was elected to the Sejm on the list of Prime Minister Donald Tusk's Civic Coalition.

"We need to protect our interests, for example, as Germany did when Poland joined the EU. The labor market for Poles was frozen for 8 years back then. Today we have to say that agriculture products from Ukraine, both raw and processed, should not enter Poland, for example, for 20 years after Ukraine joins the EU," Kolodziejczak said.

The official has already promised to take appropriate measures after Prime Minister Donald Tusk officially approves him as a deputy minister next week (December 18-24). "There are certain processes that we, the Poles, will not be able to stop on our own. It will be a long-term process, and we have to prepare Poland and the EU for it," Kolodziejczak added.

At the same time, the Association of Polish Sugar Beet Producers called for an immediate embargo on sugar from Ukraine. The organization appealed to the new Minister of Agriculture of Poland Czeslaw Sekerski.

"Since the temporary suspension of duties and quotas on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, sugar imports from Ukraine to the EU have increased several dozen times... In recent months, Poland and other countries bordering Ukraine have seen a significant drop in sugar prices, which puts Polish industry and agriculture in a less competitive position with partners from Western Europe," the Polish association said.

They believe that the European Union should not continue to cancel quotas for Ukrainian agricultural products at all. This is essentially another discriminatory requirement in the context of free trade between Ukraine and the EU. In addition, the position of Polish farmers contradicts Ukraine's agreements with the European Commission.

It should also be borne in mind that Poland will ban imports of Ukrainian agricultural products starting in spring 2023. The European Commission's decision in September of the same year to impose restrictions on the import of Ukrainian products did not affect the position of the Poles and other neighbors of Ukraine. Thus, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary have imposed unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian imports. The World Trade Organization (WTO) will deal with this issue as a complaint has been already filed by the Ukrainian side.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, Poland also wants to re-block the largest cargo checkpoint on the border with Ukraine. So far, Yagodyn-Dorohusk remains open, despite the court's decision on the legality of the blockade. The mayor of Dorohusk, who canceled the strike of Polish carriers, may still appeal. However, on December 18, Polish carriers may resume the blockade.

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