(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the European Union should restore trade restriction on Ukrainian food imports that existed before Russia’s invasion to avoid the erosion of support for the war-ravaged country.

His remarks follow blockades of border crossings by Polish farmers in protest against the influx of agricultural goods from Ukraine. The government in Warsaw has called on the EU to limit imports, but the solution proposed by Sikorski goes a step further, even if expressed in personal capacity.  

“We should go back to pre-war rules of trade and then start negotiating with Ukraine their entry to the EU and the single market, with all the adjustment and all the rules that have to be obeyed,” Sikorski told a meeting at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on Monday. “This is just my view.”

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His proposal would mean the EU reinstates all import restrictions that the bloc lifted in 2022 to help Kyiv find new export routes, giving it almost unfettered access to the common market of 27 European states. 

The previous government in Warsaw imposed a ban on Ukrainian grain imports last year to placate farmers before parliamentary election it ultimately lost in October. The current administration has kept the curbs in place, allowing only for transit to the ports on the Baltic Sea and into other EU states.  

Sikorski said the situation has now changed and Ukraine is again capable of sending its grain via Black Sea, while before the ban Poland became the destination for two-thirds of grain that crossed into the EU.

“Polish farmers cannot bear the brunt of all of EU solidarity with Ukraine,” Sikorski said. “I agree that the optics are not good on that. But we need to do both — save Ukraine and save Polish farming.”

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