On January 16, the European Commission will propose to extend the suspension of tariffs and import quotas for Ukrainian products until June 2025. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk intends to speak against it.
About this informs Financial Times with reference to sources.
The newspaper notes that Tusk maintains the protectionist position of the previous government and intends to oppose the renewal of the EU’s free trade agreement with Ukraine.
However, Poland’s position will not affect the result, as the decision is made by majority vote.
Tusk, who is following the policies proposed by the nationalist Eurosceptic government led by the Law and Justice party, is contradicting his promise when he took office last month to return Poland to the center of EU policy-making after years of animosity with Brussels
It underscores the difficulty for the Polish prime minister in striking a balance between his pro-European agenda and the interests of farmers and hauliers, who want to keep the import ban in place and have been blocking the country’s border crossings with Ukraine since November to force the government to back their demands.
Tusk is preparing to visit Kyiv in the coming days to try to ease tensions sparked by the border blockade and reach a compromise on a ban on Ukrainian grain imports imposed by the Polish government last spring.
Officials say Tusk is seeking a deal similar to the one struck with Romania and Bulgaria. They lifted the blockade last year in exchange for Ukraine agreeing to an export licensing system that limited the flow to their countries.
“The main part of the work is a dialogue between the two capitals [Варшавою та Києвом]”, said the EU diplomat.
According to Polish government data, about 90% of trucks delivered to Poland from Ukraine are Ukrainian, compared to 60% before liberalization.