EU Commission still in talks with five EU countries on their bans on Ukrainian grain imports

24 April, 02:04 PM
European Commission has not reached an agreement with five countries (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

European Commission has not reached an agreement with five countries (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis has held talks with representatives of five EU countries regarding bans they have imposed on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine, Polish radio station RMF FM reported on April 23.

Negotiations with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria will continue April 24 at the level of agriculture ministers, the station said.

The European Commission is reportedly ready to make concessions. In particular, it could expand the list of goods that are banned from being imported from Ukraine. But so far, the European Commission has only agreed to ban the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds.

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“There is progress, and the talks are moving in the right direction,” a participant in the negotiations said.

Poland banned grain imports from Ukraine on April 15, caving to demands from Polish farmers who had protested against Ukrainian agriculture shipments for months.

The farmers claim that a significant part of Ukrainian grain does not transit further, remaining in Poland to flood the market and depress prices.

Later, Hungary and Slovakia also announced a temporary ban on the import of grain and oilseeds, along with other agricultural products from Ukraine. Bulgaria joined these countries on April 19, allowing only transit.

The European Union has slammed the bans, saying they contravene both EU and international law, said EU spokesperson for trade issues, Miriam Garcia Ferrer.

In fact, grain prices have been falling worldwide, and not just in Poland. The price spiked last year due to Russia’s full scale-invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the country’s ports. A UN-brokered deal last year unblocked the shipments, allowing Ukraine to export grain again, and prices started to fall.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine reported on April 18 that Ukraine and Poland had reached an agreement on resuming the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products.

Hungary announced on April 19 that it had banned imports of 25 types of agricultural products from Ukraine into the country, but then greenlighted their transit under special conditions.

Meanwhile, Romania hasn’t restricted Ukrainian grain transit via its ports.

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