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Poland to buy surplus grain flooding from Ukraine

The government seeks to offset the negative impact of cheap imports on domestic prices

The Polish government is starting to buy grain with state funds to cope with the influx of supplies from Ukraine, Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk announced on Wednesday, before resigning from his post amid growing public discontent.

“The purchase will be launched immediately after the Easter holidays. Today, the State Finance Commission allocates the first 600 million zlotys [$140 million] for this purchase,” the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic quoted Kowalczyk as saying.

The minister reportedly added that the Polish authorities will now allow the construction of granaries without obtaining building permits.

According to the minister, Warsaw expects to receive a significant amount from the funds that the EU allocates to deal with issues regarding supplies of Ukrainian grain.

As part of an EU initiative, all tariffs and quotas have been lifted on Ukrainian grain exports to the bloc’s 27 member states in order to enable its transfer across the world, including Africa.

The grain has been transported to the bloc through Poland and other neighboring countries by road and rail. However, much of it stayed there, particularly in Poland, due to a lack of transport capacity to move it on. Poland has been prioritizing imports of coal after imposing a ban on Russian imports.

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Eastern Europe ‘drowning’ in Ukrainian grain – Le Figaro

The inflow of Ukrainian grain, which has affected prices and local sales, has resulted in protests by Polish farmers, demanding the introduction of tariffs.

This, along with the European Commission’s (EC) decision to extend duty free imports for Ukrainian grain until June 2024, has reportedly forced Kowalczyk to quit his position.

“As it is clear that this demand will not be met by the European Commission at this point, I decided to resign from the post of agriculture minister,” Kowalczyk said.

The prime ministers of five EU states including Poland wrote to EC President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday to demand action on Ukrainian agricultural imports.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

April 05, 2023 at 05:46PM
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