Poland & Ukraine Have Plunged Into A Full-Blown Political Crisis With No End In Sight

Yves here. Even for casual watchers of the Ukraine war, the signs of Ukraine’s deteriorating relationships with its sponsors have been increasing. Even as of summer 2022 (reported later), Biden made a tart remark to Zelensky about his lack of gratitude. In the US, Ukraine enthusiasm has waned as awareness that the war won’t be resolved any time soon, and not in a Ukraine victory, has been rising. European leaders are in even a more fraught position as they are bearing direct and highly visible costs of the conflict, in the form of pricey energy due to sanctions on Russia, and the destabilizing effects of Ukraine refugees. As some readers described, Ukraine arrivals were given lavish treatment, given large stipends, often well housed, given preferential treatment in schools. That has worn thin now that there is no prospect of them leaving any time soon. And citizens rightly question why Ukrainians are getting better social safety nets than they have.

One highly visible clash is over Ukraine grain sales to Europe, which is of such poor quality that it is fit only for livestock. Five European countries tried rejecting Ukraine shipments because they would undercut local farmers. Then Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary passed import bans (despite arguably not being allowed to take this measure as individual EU states), which led to Ukraine suing all three countries at the WTO.

The Financial Times today describes how the grain row is generating fractures in the EU:

Brussels is considering whether to defend Poland, Hungary and Slovakia against a lawsuit filed by Kyiv, after the three countries broke EU rules to ban imports of Ukrainian grain that they said were flooding their markets.

The unilateral bans have thrown the EU’s trade policies into disarray and are the most striking signal of disunity among the bloc’s 27 member states over support for Kyiv as it continues to fight against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, had initially demanded Poland, Hungary and Slovakia reverse their bans, but is now working to “co-ordinate” their legal rebuttals to Kyiv’s filing of a suit at the World Trade Organization….

The EU executive on Friday lifted a temporary embargo on grain exports from Ukraine into the bloc…

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia responded by imposing unilateral bans, going against EU policy of acting in unison on trade matters and raising an awkward situation for the commission….

Romania has not applied unilateral measures but Bulgaria introduced a ban on sunflower seeds from Ukraine on Wednesday after days of protests by farmers.

This is almost suicidally ill timed. Even if Ukraine thought it needed to sue, it would have been prudent to wait until elections were over in Poland and Slovakia (both in upcoming weeks) where anti-giving-Ukraine-a-blank-check parties are doing well enough that they could win or become the lead actors in a coalition government. If one or both countries wind up having their voters repudiate Project Ukraine, this will put the US on its back foot in a major way. A loss by Ukraine stalwarts would be a mere sighting shot but would greatly worry other EU leaders. But for Russia-hating Poland’s voters to back off from Project Ukraine would throw a wrench in any US “coalition of the willing” escalation fantasies, since many hawks have assumed Poland would be wiling to supply troops and materiel for direct action if push came to shove.

By Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based American political analyst who specializes in the global systemic transition to multipolarity in the New Cold War. He has a PhD from MGIMO, which is under the umbrella of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Originally published at his website

Both parties are in a dilemma whereby each believes that they have more to gain at the level of national and political interests by escalating tensions than by being the first to de-escalate them. A self-sustaining cycle is thus in the process of forming, which risks leading to such a drastic deterioration of their ties that the presently dismal state thereof might soon be looked fondly upon.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s revelation to local media on Wednesday that his country had stopped supplying arms to Ukraine in favor of arming itself showed just how far bilateral ties have plunged over the past week. Warsaw unilaterally extended restrictions on its eastern neighbor’s agricultural imports upon the expiry of the European Commission’s deal on 15 September in order to protect its farmers, which prompted Kiev to complain to the WTO about it on Monday.

Later that same day, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller suggested that Warsaw might let its aid to Ukrainian refugees lapse next spring instead of extending it, thus hinting at a willingness to expand their trade dispute into other dimensions. If that happens, then the over one and a half million Ukrainians temporarily residing in Poland would either have to return home or go to elsewhere to Germany for instance. Everything then snowballed into a full-blown political crisis on Tuesday.

Polish Minister of European Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek ominously warnedthat:

Ukraine’s actions make no impression on us… but they do make a certain impression on Polish public opinion. This can be seen in the polls, in the level of public support for continued support for Ukraine. And this harms Ukraine itself. We would like to continue supporting Ukraine, but, for this to be possible, we must have the support of Poles in this matter. If we don’t have it, it will be difficult for us to continue supporting Ukraine in the same way as we have been doing so far.

Zelensky then exploited his global pulpit at the UNGA to fearmonger about the following:

We are working to ensure food stability. And I hope that many of you will join us in these efforts. We launched a temporary sea export corridor from our ports. And we are working hard to preserve the land routes for grain exports. And it is alarming to see how some in Europe, some of our friends in Europe, play out solidarity in a political theater – making a thriller from the grain. They may seem to play their own role but in fact they are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor.

Polish President Andrzej Duda’s response that he shared with reporters showed how offended he was:

Ukraine is behaving like a drowning person clinging to everything he can… but we have the right to defend ourselves against harm being done to us. A drowning person is extremely dangerous, he can pull you down to the depths… simply drown the rescuer. We must act to protect ourselves from the harm being done to us, because if the drowning person… drowns us, he will not get help. So we have to take care of our interests and we will do it effectively and decisively.

It was against this backdrop that Poland urgently summoned the Ukrainian Ambassador on Wednesday, after which Morawiecki revealed later that day that Poland is no longer sending weapons to Kiev. Prior to Ukraine complaining to the WTO about Poland, which is what set this fast-moving sequence of events into motion, tensions were already boiling for some time as a result of the failed counteroffensive sobering them up from the mutual delusion of seemingly inevitable victory over Russia.

These neighboring nations then naturally began to fall out with one another as the full range of their preexisting differences were exacerbated and quickly reshaped bilateral relations. Their trade dispute was just the tip of the iceberg but it showed that each side was starting to prioritize their contradictory national interests at the expense of shared political ones. This signaled to their societies that it was now once again acceptable target the other with nationalist rage instead of focusing solely on Russia.

All this have been prevented, however, if only Ukraine showed some gratefulness to Poland for everything that Warsaw did for it these past 19 months and didn’t complain to the WTO about the grain issue. Even worse was Zelensky breaking the taboo of accusing his Polish counterpart of all people, who leads one of the world’s most Russophobic states in history, of supposedly doing Russia’s geopolitical bidding. He crossed a red line and there’s now no going back to their previously illusory mutual trust.

Polish-Ukrainian ties are expected to plunge even further in the coming weeks as the first approaches its next elections on 15 October, which the ruling “Law & Justice” (PiS) party hopes to win by making everything about national security. This explains why they cut off arms shipments to Ukraine in response to Zelensky’s ridiculous innuendo about Poland being a Russian puppet, and it’s possible that more such meaningful moves might soon follow to remind Ukraine that it’s indebted to Poland for its survival.

With these calculations in mind, it can confidently be predicted that Polish-Ukrainian ties will likely continue plunging till mid-October at the earliest, after which they might rebound if the “Civic Platform” (PO) opposition’s latest media campaignsucceeds in turning enough rural voters against PiS. It’ll be an uphill battle for them, and PiS could possibly form a coalition government with the anti-establishmentConfederation party if they aren’t totally trounced, so PO’s return to power isn’t guaranteed.

That being the case, there’s a credible chance that Polish-Ukrainian ties could plunge even further across the coming year, especially if PiS is forced into a coalition government with Confederation. The first has come to resent Zelensky in recent months while the latter was consistently against Poland’s leading role in waging NATO’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine, which could lead to a devastating combination for Kiev. In such a situation, everything might get much worse, and at an even faster pace at that.

Absent PO’s victory at the polls next month, the only other variable that could realistically offset this scenario is if Kiev backtracks on its threatened WTO lawsuit and Zelensky finally shows sincere gratitude in public for everything that Poland has done for Ukraine. Nobody should get their hopes up about that, however, since he’s expected to seek re-election next spring and might worry that walking back on his newly assertive policy towards Poland could lose him the nationalist vote.

Both parties are therefore in a dilemma whereby each believes that they have more to gain at the level of national and political interests by escalating tensions than by being the first to de-escalate them. A self-sustaining cycle is thus in the process of forming, which risks leading to such a drastic deterioration of their ties that the presently dismal state thereof might soon be looked fondly upon. This is especially so if Poland moves to more openly exert its creeping hegemony over Western Ukraine in the near future.

To be clear, the aforementioned sequence of events is the absolute worst-case scenario and accordingly isn’t all that likely, but it also can’t be ruled out either since few foresaw how far their ties would plunge just a few short months ago. It’s undeniable that Polish-Ukrainian relations have entered a period of uncertainty that might last for a while so both would do well to prepare their societies for the possibility of continued tensions so that they can most effectively adapt to this emerging geostrategic reality.

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    1. Polar Socialist

      One thing to remember is that the “Ukrainian” grain is quite likely owned if not grown by international agribusiness. Nobody really knows who owns the fields in Ukraine, after Zelensky ended the moratorium.

      Regardless of who grew and harvested the grain, it certainly isn’t the farmers or government exporting it.

      1. Telee

        President Biden has just appointed Penny Pritzker to oversee the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. The participants are Blackrock, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey. Zelensky is all in. After Zelensky changed the law to allow businesses from foreign countries to own Ukrainian assets, one can imagine the leverage will be used to control food prices and supply as has already been done with energy.


        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This is not happening. The whole thing is a headfake. It’s part of keeping the fantasy that the Ukraine war is a worthy enterprise going. It’s frustrating to see people amplifying this stunt. It part of what we call “the hall of hollow mandates.”

          1. skippy

            Its like Western investor cattle mustering lmmao … that is how they believe they can win the War … investment flows … ditto for China and will burn their own backyards to forward that agenda.

            Great goat at the usual channels spewing investor sentiment Bernays sauce … bring your $$$$ to the biggest tax haven on the planet and be free from worries …. ugh it all just so psychological and sans any fundamental market anything … barf !!!!!!

  1. NN Cassandra

    Nice illustration that in the end, Western elites will have no problem with changing the narrative on the spot. One day you are helping Putin if you are against sending arms to Ukraine, the next you are helping Putin if you want to send arms to Ukraine instead of keeping them for ourselves to defend the homeland.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Or to accept two contradictory statements at the same time. Which they, of course, do.

        Like the idea that a unified NATO is a great deterrence, but Putin will anyway march to Paris if he’s not stopped in Ukraine. Even if Russian army is demoralized, out of armor, out of missiles and on it’s last legs.

        1. Twisted

          The US has a better chance of marching itself right into Paris or anywhere it can get control of a government. But Russia marching into Paris is just another symptom of someone suffering from Russia Derangement Syndrome.

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    Well, I am reminded that the Gs emerged from deepest, darkest Lithuania. I am also reminded that the Lithuanians, compared to their neighbors, are downright happy-go-lucky. The Poles are aggrieved again!


    Branko Marcetic wrote an excellent esssay on how the driving force in Central/Eastern Europe isn’t democracy. It is independence. Democracy is in second, third, fourth place. If a country has to tie itself in knots to remain independent, so be it: Witness the demographic/social/economic disaster that is Latvia. Yet it remains “independent.”

    Likewise, Poland. Poland isn’t only Europe’s melodramatic bad boy. Polish politics are driven by a strident/understandable impetus for independence. Likewise, Hungary. Likewise, Slovakia.

    Amazingly, the Baerbockian “feminist” foreign policy of the EU means that it protects a non-member country from its own members. What benefits are there for Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary if the EU disrupts their farm policy and their concern for their food supply, bases of their independence?

    So the U.S. foreign-policy brain trust’s great plan for an oversized Poland founders on factors identified by Marcetic and explained here in great detail by Korybko (thanks!). As ever, the U.S. elites thought that they had a workaround, a cheap way to attain glory.

    What this means is that the “old” EU of France, Germany, and Italy still matters. Greatly. And the Ukraine Project isn’t working out well among the populaces of those countries at all.

        1. Savita

          DJG thankyou.
          I’m not disagreeing with you about Latvia but would you care to elaborate upon your description of it being a demographic, social and economic disaster? I’m just fascinated. Okay to be fair its the social bit that intrigues the most as demographic (mass exodus of working age) and economic (GFC + decisions made by government in wake of) are self explanatory :(

          1. DJG, Reality Czar

            Savita: Consider this:

            –Demographic. Latvia is exporting those of working age, as you mentioned.
            –Social. Latvia left many of its Russian citizens stateless by insisting that those who arrived after WWII, if Russian, couldn’t hold citizenship. It is a social and moral disaster. Some critics have pointed out that Latvia’s citizenship policy should have kept the country out of the European Union.
            –Economic. Latvia competes with Estonia to see which can be more the free-market fundamentalist.

            I note that Lithuania solved the social/moral problem by extending citizenship to its Russian and Polish minorities. Of course, the Polish minority has been around for centuries.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Since when being a member of EU and NATO says “independent”? It’s almost as if “independence” means doing what Russia wouldn’t want you to do, no matter how much it hurts you and little Russian actually cares…

    2. Roger

      The lack of a basic understanding of the history of nations and regions by the US State Department is quite incredible. For example, Blinken who went to one of the top private schools (Dalton) in the US and then Harvard, then a JD from Columbia. His father and uncle were also a US ambassadors – to Hungary and Belgium. His step-father is also a highly successful economic and foreign policy advisor (JFK administration) and lawyer to many of the leading global corporations.

      With this pedigree, education and supporting cast you would think that Blinken would be perfect at his job, but no Blundering Blinken has been an outright disaster. Perhaps they should hire less lawyers and a lot more area specialists, historians, and political economists? Someone like Lavrov is in a totally different league.

  3. John R Moffett

    Patrick Lawrence had a great piece about this at Consortium News where he makes the case that the entire Ukraine affair is a Joe Biden production and that history is not going to look kindly on his legacy. I certainly hope he is right, because Biden deserves all the blame.

  4. john

    Poland in August 1939, at the behest of the british, french and russians, needed to allow russian forces to enter Poland from the east should the germans attack…then all 4 allies could sign the polish mutual defense treaty…Poland refused and hence the russians signed an agreement with germany.

    1. Janeway

      I’ve heard the version that adds the secret ‘promise’ from Britian & France to Poland that Poland should refuse and Britian & France would act to protect Poland. The Russians smelled a rat and went to Germany to buy time to prepare for war – sort of a parallel to the Misk Accords of present time.

  5. Aurelien

    It’s not only wheat. There has been a massive increase in the number of chickens imported from Poland, exempt from the usual health and safety rules for animals and workers. In France they are turning up in bargain-priced ready-made meals, served in old peoples’ homes and schools. Not everyone is happy about this. Moreover, 80% of the market for chickens in Ukraine is controlled, according to the French media, by one man, Yuriy Kosiuk, whose company is headquartered in Cyprus and quoted on the London Stock Exchange. But it’s all in a good cause, apparently.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe there were issues with Ukrainian grain too, related to contamination by pesticides banned in EU. So importing it was technically against even the relaxed rules. A clear example underlining that “rules based order” is not the same as “rule of law”.

    1. Benny Profane

      I would think that it could possibly be the opposite. If Ukraine becomes an impoverished rump state, which is where its heading, Poland could easily take major portions of what’s left of the west with all of the military gear that is stockpiled in Poland there from the NATO buildup, and maybe conscript the Ukranian military aged men and women housed there to fight in the invasion, although doubtful there will be much left on the Ukranian side to put up a fight. Putin once shrugged and said that he might accept that situation, because he certainly doesnt want to fight the Nazis forever, but Lukashenko wouldn’t be very happy with it.

    2. Feral Finster

      Contrary to a lot of alt-media and commentators, I cannot imagine that Poland would *want* a large territory inhabited by fractious and heavily-armed people who are not only by no stretch of the imagination Polish, but who also have a recent history of genocide specifically directed at Poles.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      And of course, neither the Polish government nor its military dares move a toe without consulting the US, NATO and the EU.

    3. John k

      Ukraine already has 2.5 mil in Poland, and millions more thruout eu. Ukraine has invaded all eu. I bet the locals think they’ve been invaded.
      Do the eu locals (still?) think Russia lusts to see the Atlantic? And are they now thinking the ukraine war might mean the present visitors are permanent? And as eu readies more sanctions, would a majority of locals prefer returning to former trade with Russia? Elections mighty bring focus.
      I wonder if our oligarchs’ sunk cost in ukraine farmland helps drive the war.

  6. Xquacy


    Second paragraph third line

    Then Poland, Slovakia, and Poland passed import bans

    I believe ought to be:

    Then Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary passed import bans…

  7. .Tom

    I read earlier this week that UA is considering how to repatriate fighting age men. Meanwhile it says here that UA has angered Poland to the point that it threatened to withdraw refugee hospitality. So, what does Z want more: maintain its hopes of EU membership or to keep the war going to keep the American money flowing?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ukraine has already been told no by several countries.

      You cannot repatriate on a bulk basis. You need to extradite and that has to be done by onesies and with specific named people in court.

      The best way to achieve that actually is to withdraw refugee “hospitality” as in subsidies. But any working age men are least likely to come back. They could do manual labor, drive taxis, bus tables…

  8. Benny Profane

    “Absent PO’s victory at the polls next month, the only other variable that could realistically offset this scenario is if Kiev backtracks on its threatened WTO lawsuit and Zelensky finally shows sincere gratitude in public for everything that Poland has done for Ukraine. Nobody should get their hopes up about that, however, since he’s expected to seek re-election next spring and might worry that walking back on his newly assertive policy towards Poland could lose him the nationalist vote.”

    From what I understand, at this point, isn’t the nationalist vote the only vote left in Ukraine? Haven’t all opposition parties been banned? The media is all state sponsored and essentially state run?

    1. Feral Finster

      All this is for theater, namely, the upcoming and bitterly contested Polish election. PiS wants to present itself as looking out for Polish interests, as opposed to the more slavishly Europhile PO. Once the election is over, all this will end, and the only reason it is allowed to continue as long as it has is because the US will tolerate PiS and applauds its rabid russophobia.

      You are correct, Zelenskii has nothing to worry about, election-wise.

  9. The Rev Kev

    So I guess that the idea of sending in a Polish expeditionary force into the Ukraine to help them is off the table now. Maybe this is why the Russians have been taking things slow. They knew that things like this would blow up if they just waited. To the Ukrainians, it does not matter that 10,000 Poles have died fighting in the Ukraine. Poland owes them for fighting Russia on their behalf. But it has finally gotten through to those EU nations what it would mean if the Ukraine actually became a member of the EU. The Ukraine would hijack it to suit themselves and would feel entitled in doing so. Anybody remember ‘The ‘monumental consequences’ of Ukraine joining the EU ‘ article from early last month?


    A lot of this is a result of the collapse of the Russian grain deal. The EU refused to honour it because they could not let Russia have a win as they saw it. So now that grain will have to go overland and if they flood countries with their cheap exports, well, that is not their problem. The Ukraine was earning hundreds of millions per month through the grain export deal so you cannot convince me that Zelensky and his friends were not taking a hefty cut of the profits and now that it is gone, it is driving him a bit crazy. But I don’t know what Zelensky is going on about when talking about securing food security. For who exactly? Portuguese pigs? So the thought of losing this direct land access for Ukrainian grain was too much for him – and his bank account – and tipped him over the edge. But if the Ukrainians keep this up, I would not be surprised to see Poland close the border with them. Lots of Poles still remember the name Volhynia.

  10. Lex

    I’ve expected a falling out between Ukraine and Poland since the beginning. I don’t know that this is a real and/or permanent falling out yet. It may be electioneering by PiS. But nobody in Kiev is capable of realizing it might be that and having quiet conversations behind the scenes. Kiev only knows accusations and public performance for internal propaganda.

    From my minor reading of Polish media/social media, PiS is in a fair amount of trouble. Ukraine and grain are hot button issues, particularly Ukrainian “refugees” but the current scandal about PiS selling work visas and the relatively large migration of foreigners (particularly south Asians and Africans) is a big deal among Polish conservatives.

    Russophobia only goes so far and doesn’t go far enough when Ukrainians arrive in Poland and start chanting Banderite slogans or using them as graffiti tags. I suppose nobody at State bothers to read history when they reimagine the intermarium and a wedding between their two, major “new Europe” proxies. But Poles know full well that Bandera and the UPA were first and foremost an anti-Polish organization. It’s an intractable problem so long as the cult of Bandera is the founding myth of modern Ukraine.

    If I was in the Kremlin I would absolutely gift western Ukraine to the Poles as a gesture of “good will”. The Poles and the Ukrainians would be fighting each other in less than a decade.

    1. Feral Finster

      You are correct as far as this dispute being primarily a matter for Polish domestic consumption. Once the election is over, Poland will fall back in line.

      You are also correct in that the principal folk enemies of the 1930s generation of Ukrainian nationalists were not Russians, but Poles and Jews. And I don’t know a Polish family that didn’t lose members to the Banderists.

      That said, the Kremlin cannot gift western Ukraine unless it controls it.

      1. Lex

        Russia can always just leave it. I’m not sure the current crop of Polish leadership could resist the temptation. And even if it does, the Banderites will develop a new “stabbed in the back” ideal that will be directed at Poland and the EU as much as at Russia. Poland and the EU will be easier targets too.

        1. Feral Finster

          The idea that Poland would *want* a territory of heavily armed and fractious Ukrainians, who are, for the most part, not Catholic and who are by no stretch of the imagination Polish, and inf act have a both long standing and recent history of ethnic beefs with Poland beggars the imagination.

          1. Polar Socialist

            They did “pacify” the Eastern Lesser Poland (a.k.a. western Ukraine) in 1930, didn’t they? After OUN terror campaign, mostly targeting moderate/compromising Ukrainians, though.

            It’s not like the neighboring countries haven’t taken their turn at trying to deal with “ethno-nationalist” Ukrainians during the last 100 years.

            1. hk

              I am curious what would happen if Russians did stop at the Dniepr and the Black Sea coastline. I have trouble imagining an organized state as such surviving in the rump Ukraine. But if it collapses into a morass of lawless mess, somebody would have to take it over to keep the mess from spilling over, no? Or, will it become a giant Gaza?

          2. hk

            Many of them are Catholic, no? just not Latin. (Poles found the Uniates far more troublesome than the Orthodox, as I understand it, as the Ukrainian national idea was closely tied to Byzantine Rite Catholicism, which set them apart from both Poles and Russians…)

  11. Skip Intro

    The neocon gang running the West has always quietly understood that the end of this war was regime change. They have failed to recognize which regimes would be changing.

    1. D. Gray

      I don’t believe the neocon gang could care which regimes change. Countries falling apart are rich ground for sowing profit.

    2. Kfish

      Like the Oracle of Delphi said to Croesus: “If you go to war, you will destroy a great kingdom.” Croesus failed to realise it was going to be his own.

  12. Andy Pyle

    A few decades ago it was obvious that the EU did not want Ukraine because they were already paying massive agricultural subsidies to their members under the Common Agricultural Policy and adding Ukraine would completely wreck things. The EU as a whole had massive agricultural surpluses in almost everything. So it is no surprise that they do not want Ukrainian grain now.

    The politics-driven hype about Ukraine joining the EU after the Maiden events of 2014 and especially since the start of the open war was never going to be realized; Ukraine never was wanted.

  13. Ignacio

    Europe is turning the hen-house I imagined. From what I’ve read French authorities were the most vocal regarding Polish, Hungarian and Slovak ban as illegal in the common market. In the EU Commercial policy is exclusive competence of the Union so it is true that these countries are breaking the rules. Yet, the main argument I read from the French is not that of common market but that of “solidarity”. As Aurelien says above that solidarity is paid, for instance, by poultry producers in France, and this is why Polish farmers should cooperate. Now most of the grain from Ukraine comes by land transport through Romania and I have read that the country might also ban Ukrainian imports which would be the final blow for Ukraine on this matter. May be Romania is not as nationalist as Poland but seeing what is happening there they might change their current view and go for the ban. Spain is the main importer of Ukrainian grain though it is used only for livestock, one of the most price-sensitive industries you can imagine, so here everybody is happy with the EU deal and the “solidarity”.

    Things are getting messy and one thing I have learnt here is that some Eastern countries are less ready or less accustomed, or less willing to accept UE exclusive competence on commerce. UE expansion will probably have a price, and to be sure i very much start feeling against the current trend in which the EU will have a freer pass of legislation reducing the possibility of vetoes in future decisions. An acceleration of the neoliberal path is on the cards.

    1. OIFVet

      Romania will not ban Ukrainian imports. That’s the country where, even during the now-lifted EU ban to the 5 countries, supposedly transiting Ukie grain was magically transformed into “Romainian” grain and exported on the cheap to Bulgaria. Bulgarian farmers are not the least bit happy about that, either.

      As for the farmers’ protests in Bulgaria this week, expect the protests to flare up again either in early October, should the government fail to meet its end of the bargain to negotiate strict quotas with Ukraine, or sometime next year, due to certain political machinations.

    2. Feral Finster

      “Things are getting messy and one thing I have learnt here is that some Eastern countries are less ready or less accustomed, or less willing to accept UE exclusive competence on commerce. UE expansion will probably have a price, and to be sure i very much start feeling against the current trend in which the EU will have a freer pass of legislation reducing the possibility of vetoes in future decisions. An acceleration of the neoliberal path is on the cards.”

      Nobody will ask those countries their opinion, and if they object, the Eurocrats will simply rename their project and proceed.

      The history of the EU Treaty is most instructive here. Rejected by plebiscites in multiple EU states, including France, and the Eurocrats simply repackaged it and didn’t bother to ask the voters again.

  14. ChrisFromGA

    Brussels is considering whether to defend Poland, Hungary and Slovakia against a lawsuit filed by Kyiv, after the three countries broke EU rules to ban imports of Ukrainian grain that they said were flooding their markets.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but this statement seems astounding on it’s face.


    If Mexico tried to sue Florida, Georgia, and Alabama under US commercial code or law, wouldn’t the DoJ or other agency (US Commerce dept) be obliged to defend the states from a suit in Federal Court?

    Ukraine is not legally part of the EU, or even anywhere close. There have been some preliminary talks and vague notions about maybe, 10 years from now, they might be.

    I’m sure that analogy isn’t perfect, but really, the EU is now going to just get away with not defending a member state against a non-member?

    Rules-based order, strikes again.

    1. Aurelien

      I think that what the FT is trying to say is that the three countries may have broken the EU’s own rules, which would normally attract sanctions from Brussels, quite independently of anything Ukraine may try to do. If the Commission (I assume) does its analysis and finds that they have indeed broken the rules, then it is supposed to take action itself. If not, then it, and other member states, would presumably support the three countries in any legal proceedings (though I’m not sure in what legal forum this would be.) In other words, it’s not political support against an outside nation, it’s a question of internal rules.

  15. jeff

    The sooner this war ends, the better.

    – Everybody but Blackrock, the comedian UKR president and defense contractors

  16. Glen

    Asking for a friend – has any been checking to make sure that the DU sent to Ukraine is not ending up in the food supply?

    1. dandyandy

      Of course it is already in the food supply.

      Only just four months ago, a dispersal programme of the raw DU material selflessly donated by U.K., was implemented courtesy of RFAF, so that the folks of Galicia can enjoy the benefits of accelerated neutrons, for many years to come.

      Ontological drugs galore, hurray, lots of profits on their way.

      The full report is still awaiting its final approval in the dens of White Hall and White House. White, like in a white wedding.

  17. alfred venison

    Is the WTO appellate branch still a judge or two short of a full bench due to American intransigence? Is the one appeals judge left still not taking new cases due to this personnel issue? If so, is there any point in taking this dispute to the WTO, especially as any decision will more likely than not be appealed? -a.v.

  18. MFB

    Apropos depleted uranium, if I recall correctly, the USSR used to place boxes of radioactive material in the fields of collective farms in the hope that the radiation would stimulate faster growth in the plants. Maybe NATO is catching up with Brezhnev-era Communism?

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