The European Commission last week did not agree to a proposal from Agriculture Commissioner Janus Wojciechowski for a EU subsidy for transport costs for Ukrainian grain to EU ports.
This should then be combined with the continuation of the current EU import ban, which expires on September 15. The other 26 EU commissioners do not (yet?) agree and have postponed the issue to this week.
Wojciechowski says that Ukraine and the five EU neighbors agree with his proposal for a transport subsidy of around thirty euros per tonne. This would allow the purchase price for Ukrainian grain to remain competitive on international markets. But Ukraine strongly disagrees with extending the temporary restrictions on European imports (in those five countries).
There is a ban on the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflowers from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia until the end of this week. Kiyv has already threatened to file a complaint against the EU with the world trade organization WTO if Brussels decides to extend that ban.
Last weekend, Polish PiS politicians again made bombastic statements in their election campaign about blocking border crossings again, if necessary, to prevent tons of (cheaper) Ukrainian grain from spoiling their local markets. Parliamentary elections will be held in Poland in four weeks, and the ruling PiS Law and Justice party is trying to win back voter favor in Poland's agricultural countryside.
Prime Minister Matheus Morawiecki and LNV Minister Robert Telus appeared in front of the TV cameras at a border crossing with Ukraine on Saturday. “The government is consistently implementing its policy to protect Polish agriculture. As we promised, we will defend our country against the flow of Ukrainian grain," said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who, together with Minister Robert Telus, visited the border crossing with Ukraine in Dołhobyczów.
There they reiterated their wish for the import ban to be extended. But they also stated that grain (and some other agricultural products) may be transported by road or rail through their country to ports in other EU countries. This would make continuation of the current situation (controlled transit) possible. In that case, no separate decision by the 27 EU Commissioners is necessary, unless Wojciechowski or Chairman Von der Leyen sharpen the matter.