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Germans and Poles to discuss Ukrainian grain exports

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German Minister of Food and Agriculture Jem Ezdemir will pay a visit to Poland on March 1, where one of the main topics of negotiations will be the export of Ukrainian grain to Europe. The ministry’s spokesman Michael Hauck said at a briefing on Wednesday.

In Warsaw, the politician will meet with his new Polish counterpart, Czeslaw Sekerski. Topics will include bilateral cooperation, the future of the EU’s common agricultural policy, and the situation on agricultural markets due to the war in Ukraine.

“Ukraine needs our help and solidarity, but above all, a common European approach to grain exports,” the spokesman said.

He recalled the European Commission’s announcement that it would extend “certain customs measures” on Ukrainian agricultural products for another year, until June 5, 2025. Berlin welcomes this step as one that should help stabilize the economic situation in some countries, Gauck said.

At the same time, he noted that “unilateral measures have nothing to do with solidarity with Ukraine or with the goals of ensuring food security.” “Continued trade liberalization is the key to solving the problem of stabilizing the growth of the Ukrainian economy, which is in line with one of the goals of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which should lead to gradual integration into the EU economy,” the spokesman reminded.

The main route for grain exports is currently the sea, but “solidarity corridors” remain very important for Ukraine, said the representative of the German Ministry of Agriculture.

Commenting on the new protests by Polish farmers, he called them very worrying. “The fact that valuable food products (grain) are being destroyed at a time when food insecurity is increasing around the world is an unacceptable political message,” the spokesman said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer, in turn, reminded that Poland is one of the largest political lobbyists in Ukraine. “It is all the more important that the current blockades on the Ukrainian-Polish border are lifted as soon as possible so that many essential products can be delivered from Ukraine to Poland, and from there to the EU and even further,” the diplomat said.

He added that after grain exports via the Black Sea had recovered to almost pre-war levels, land deliveries of food via the “solidarity corridors” have decreased by about 13% in recent months. In addition, the grain does not actually remain in Poland, and therefore cannot significantly affect the local market, he added.

As reported, since February 9, 2024, farmers have been protesting on the roads leading to checkpoints in Poland near the border with Ukraine. The main demands of the protesters are a ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products and Poland’s rejection of the European Green Deal.

During this time, there were five cases of Ukrainian grain spilling out of freight cars and trucks. The cases were investigated by the police, and the materials were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. Polish Interior Minister Marcin Kierwinski called such actions unacceptable, saying that the Polish authorities would respond to such manifestations of anarchy and detain the perpetrators.

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