Polish agriculture minister resigns amid anger over Ukrainian grain imports
Polish Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk resigned from his post (Photo:www.gov.pl)
Polish Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk announced his resignation at a press conference on April 5, citing his inability to handle the crisis related to Ukrainian grain, Polish radio station RMF FM reported on April 5.
“I have resigned from the position of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,” Kowalczyk said.
The leadership of Poland’s ruling PiS or Law and Justice party decided that Kowalczyk should fall on his sword as he had failed to deal with a crisis arising from an influx of Ukrainian grain exports to Poland, Polish media said.
Due to the effects of Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukraine has exported a significant portion of last year’s grain harvest through its land border with Poland. The grain was supposed to transit through Poland to other countries, but some of it has remained in the country and is being sold there – pushing down prices for grain and depriving Polish farmers of profits.
Polish farmers demanded a response from the Ministry of Agriculture and the resignation of the minister. Kowalczyk had tried to calm them, but, Polish media have reported that his recent statements had angered protesters even more, rather than pacifying them.
Earlier, it was reported that leaders of five central and eastern European countries had called on the European Commission to take action regarding the surplus of grain and other food products from Ukraine that have accumulated on their territories.
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