Zelenskyy asks Poland not to ‘make a scene’ over grain dispute
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Photo: EPA

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Kyiv chose the legal path of resolving the grain dispute with Warsaw, as relations between the two soured over Poland’s unilateral ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports.

Speaking with Ukrainian journalists in Washington, Mr Zelenskyy stressed that he respected Poland’s decision but "has to protect Ukrainian interests".

"Several months of economic losses have been calculated, [which is] hundreds of millions [of dollars]. But relations between our countries are more valuable than those months. Only Ukraine suffered from this blockade, no one else," he said.

The Ukrainian leader added that despite the politics, the two countries had agreed to end the restrictions on 15 September.

"And everyone understood that if there was a blockade after that date, Ukraine would choose the legal process. This is not something new," Mr Zelenskyy told the press.

"There is no need to make a political scene. This is a civilised decision to ensure that Ukrainians receive purely economic compensation."

Poland is one of the three EU countries that have unilaterally extended the ban on exports of Ukrainian agricultural products despite the European Commission's decision.

Earlier this week, Ukraine filed lawsuits at the World Trade Organization against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, after they banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural products.