The regulation blocking imports expires in September, but countries neighboring Ukraine want the restrictions to stay in place
Five EU member states want the bloc’s ban on Ukrainian grain imports extended until the end of the year, Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus announced on Friday. The nations pushing for the measure are Ukraine’s neighbors Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
The ban, which was imposed by the EU in May, allowed the five countries to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds, although transit of the goods through the five countries is still allowed. The measure is due to expire on September 15.
However, there are concerns that Ukrainian supplies could once again flow into those countries’ markets, particularly following the termination of the UN-brokered grain deal between Ukraine and Russia that allowed Ukrainian grain to be transported via the Black Sea.
Poland warned last month that it would impose a unilateral ban if the EU fails to accede to its request for the restriction to be extended. Warsaw did just that in April, before the European Commission reluctantly backed down and made the ban official.
“We support a ban on imports into our countries until the end of the year,” Telus told a news conference, according to Reuters. “I want to say that even if it fails, some countries will introduce their own restrictions. Our declaration is clear.”
Telus added that the five countries’ agriculture ministers also agree that they support grain transit subsidies and want other products to be added to the list of import bans, such as raspberries in the case of Poland.
Up to 20 of the bloc’s 27 member states oppose extending the current ban on imports of certain Ukrainian goods through the five nations, RFM radio reported this month.
The EU lifted import tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian products last year as a way to provide financial support to Kiev. However, the influx of cheap grain caused turmoil in Eastern European markets and sparked mass protests by farmers.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
August 25, 2023 at 06:59PM