According to Trade Representative, Taras Kachka, Ukraine wants to reach an understanding with neighbouring countries on imports of agricultural products through negotiations.
This came as Ukraine on Monday, September 18, 2023, filed a lawsuit at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Slovakia and Hungary over their ban of Ukrainian grain and some other food products.
The three European countries defend that the restrictions are needed to protect their domestic farmers.
It also follows after Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly that “some of our friends in Europe” whose expressions of solidarity were “political theatre” were, by restricting imports from Ukraine, “helping set the stage for a Moscow actor.”
“Ukraine wants to avoid a lengthy court [process] in the WTO [World Trade Organization] framework and to reach an understanding through negotiations,” Kachka noted in a statement released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy.
Ukraine’s trade representative also asserted that he believes compromise was possible in a trade dispute with some of the country’s neighbours and that he expects a “balancing” of the situation by Friday, September 22, 2023.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged Poland to “set aside emotions” as the trade dispute between the two countries mounts.
“We urge our Polish friends to put aside their emotions. The Ukrainian side has offered Poland a constructive path to resolve the grain issue,” foreign ministry spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko said in a Facebook post.
“The Ukrainian side offered Poland a constructive way to solve the grain problem. We expect that our proposals will become the basis for rerouting the dialogue into a constructive direction.”Oleg Nikolenko
Ukrainian Ambassador Summoned By Poland’s Foreign Ministry
Also on Wednesday, Poland’s Foreign Ministry summoned Ukrainian Ambassador, Vasyl Zvarych over Zelenskyy’s comment at the UN General Assembly.
Deputy State Secretary of Poland, Paweł Jabłoński met with Zvarych
Jabłoński expressed a strong protest from the Polish side regarding the statements of Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the UN General Assembly.
In a statement, “The Deputy Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that this thesis against Poland is false, and, moreover, especially unjustified concerning a country that has supported Ukraine since the first days of the war.”
Jabłoński said that putting pressure on Poland through multilateral platforms or complaints to international institutions “are not proper methods of dispute resolution.”
Jabłoński added that it will not yield any results, because the actions of the Polish government to protect its farmers are following national, European and international legislation.
He expressed hope that “both the policy of the Ukrainian authorities and their public communication will reflect the actual nature of Polish-Ukrainian relations, both current and past, and will take into account the unprecedented assistance provided by Poland and Poles to Ukrainians and the state of Ukraine, as well as the entire spectrum of our good cooperation”.
Earlier, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki warned Ukraine that if the grain conflict escalates further, then his country could issue import bans on more of Kyiv’s agricultural products.
Morawiecki called Zelenskyy’s remarks unfair and assured that Poland is ready to help Ukraine, but “not at the cost of destabilising the Polish market.”
He added that his country has “done a lot for Ukraine” and therefore expects its interests “to be understood.”
“We will defend our interests with all determination. This means that we, of course, respect all the problems on the Ukrainian side, but for us the interests of our farmer come first,” Morawiecki said.