© Reuters. A load of corn is poured into a truck, at a grain storage facility in the village of Bilohiria, Khmelnytskyi region, Ukraine April 19, 2023. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine had protested to key allies the European Union and Poland over restrictions on its grain supplies on Friday, before the European Commisssion announced later in the day that a deal had been reached in principle to resolve the matter.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it had sent notes to the Polish Embassy and EU representative office in Kyiv on Friday expressing dissapointment with the situation and saying restrictions on its grain exports via the European trade bloc were “categorically unacceptable”.

The European Commission said on Friday afternoon it had reached a deal in principle to allow the transit of Ukrainian grain to resume through five EU countries that had imposed restrictions.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said on Saturday in response to a question from Reuters that the notes had been sent before the Commmission’s announcement.

Asked if the announcement had changed the ministry’s position, he said: “There must be (unhindered) export for all Ukrainian goods”.

“There are full legal grounds for the immediate resumption of exports of Ukrainian agricultural goods to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, as well as the continuation of unhindered exports to other EU member states,” the ministry said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

In imposing restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports, those five countries have cited concerns that grain from Ukraine meant to be exported to other countries have ended up in their local markets, pushing down prices for local farmers.

A Polish foreign ministry spokesman said he had not yet seen the note. A Polish government spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

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