The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, emphasized that Ukraine should remember the support it receives from Poland amid an ongoing dispute over agricultural imports between the two nations, Reuters reported.
While Poland remains a strong supporter of Ukraine in the context of the Russian invasion, tensions have risen due to Poland’s recent extension of a ban on Ukrainian grain imports, citing the need to protect its own farmers.
Duda made these comments during a press conference in New York after addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
He pointed out that Poland is not only a supporter of Ukraine but also serves as a transit country for Ukrainian goods.
Poland, along with Slovakia and Hungary, imposed restrictions on imports from Ukraine following the European Commission’s decision not to extend a ban on sales to Ukraine’s five EU neighbors, which includes Romania and Bulgaria. This ban was initially introduced due to an influx of low-cost Ukrainian imports that affected these countries.
While Ukraine called for a “constructive dialogue,” it also took the step of filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to the situation.
Duda stated that if Ukraine pursued the WTO complaint, Poland would explain its position before the tribunal. He clarified that the ban applied to imports of Ukrainian grain but not its transit through Poland.
He likened the situation to dealing with a drowning person, highlighting the need to protect Poland’s interests in the face of certain business circles looking to sell Ukrainian grain quickly and at the lowest cost. Duda expressed concern that failing to do so could have negative consequences, much like a drowning person potentially endangering a rescuer.