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Warsaw, Kyiv Make Breakthrough on Transit of Ukrainian Grain

Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus during an online meeting with his Lithuanian and Ukranian counterparts. Robert Telus / Facebook

Warsaw and Kyiv announced on Tuesday they had agreed to speed up the transit of Ukrainian cereal exports through Poland to third countries, a first step in resolving their "grain war."

The three-nation agreement between Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania means that Ukrainian grain exports — destined for markets in Africa and the Middle East in particular — will be taken directly through Poland instead of first being checked at the Poland-Ukraine border.

"From tomorrow, grains that transit (to world markets) via Lithuania will undergo checks at a Lithuanian port and not at the Poland-Ukraine border," Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus told journalists.

After Russia's invasion prevented Ukraine from using its traditional Black Sea routes to export grain to world markets, the crops were sent by land through the European Union.

But because of logistical issues, grain began piling up in EU states neighboring Ukraine and driving down local prices.

Brussels allowed several countries to impose a temporary embargo on Ukrainian grains.

But when it ended those restrictions, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia extended the ban, causing a diplomatic spat between Kyiv and its allies.

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