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Obstruction from neighbors. Grain export problems

Ukraine submitted requests for consultations with Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, which banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural products, within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Problems with the export of Ukrainian grain, the main export product of the country, were created not only by Russian shelling and sea blockade, but also by the decisions of our neighbors in the West. Ukraine will file a claim with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their refusal to lift the ban on Ukrainian agricultural products.

How the situation developed

The European Commission has introduced a temporary restriction on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products in five EU member states – Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. They argued that Ukrainian grain was affecting their market and harming farmers.

In June, the EU executive decided to extend the restrictions until September 15, promising that this would be the final decision.

On September 15, 2023, the European Commission announced that thanks to the work of the Coordination Platform and temporary measures, the market distortion in the five Member States bordering Ukraine was eliminated.

In this regard, the European Commission decided not to continue its decision to ban the import of goods from Ukraine.

Demarche of neighbors

At the same time, on September 15, 2023, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary unilaterally introduced a national ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Poland’s Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda on Friday signed a decree on an indefinite ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine, in particular wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower

“Polish peasants first and foremost!” – added Buda.

Will there be a trial?

Ukraine will appeal to the WTO. “It is very important for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods. Therefore, we are filing cases against them at the WTO. At the same time, we hope that the This state their restrictions and we will not have to settle things in the courts for a long time.

We need solidarity with them and care for the interests of farmers. The measures we have taken and the pressure from the European Commission and other member states will help restore normal trade between Ukraine and neighboring countries, as well as show solidarity between us,” said the Minister of Ukrainian Economy Yulia Sviridenko.

According to him, as a result of the unilateral ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products by Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, Ukrainian exporters have suffered and continue to suffer significant losses due to downtime, additional costs and inability to fulfill foreign economic agreements. .

“Ukraine sees this as a violation by the three EU countries of their international obligations. The Ukrainian side also believes that the unilateral actions of EU member states in the field of trade are unacceptable and all member countries of the bloc must coordinate and harmonize trade policy, as this is under the exclusive competence of the EU.” , – emphasized the Ministry of Economy.

Reaction in Europe

The majority of European Union member countries support the solution proposed by the European Commission on the export of Ukrainian grain and against the grain blockade. Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas Puchades, said that “the European Commission has done a good job.”

Most of the ministers of agriculture in the West believe that unity in Ukraine should be maintained, because grain is an important part of the income for the Ukrainian side. They are also critical of the unilateral blockade of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

As the Spanish minister noted, the fact that any country introduces unilateral measures against the single market is contrary to EU law, but it must be judged by the European Commission.

At the same time, according to RMF FM, the European Commission will not rush to punish Poland at the moment.

“There is no desire yet to take decisive action against Poland,” said one European official.

Finnish Agriculture Minister Sari Essaya expressed understanding of Ukraine’s decision to file a complaint at the WTO, stressing that international and EU obligations must be respected.

French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau also criticized the unilateral blockade, saying such actions question European unity.

“Unity requires unity… We must keep these two elements, otherwise the European project is at risk. The single market is a key element,” Fesno said.

Source: korrespondent

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