European Commission and five EU countries agree on Ukrainian food imports

28 April, 11:57 PM
Grain harvest in Kyiv region, August 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Viacheslav Musiienko/File Photo)

Grain harvest in Kyiv region, August 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Viacheslav Musiienko/File Photo)

The European Commission has reached an agreement with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia to resolve the crisis of Ukrainian agricultural imports driving down domestic prices, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a Twitter post on April 28.

The agreement comes after two weeks of negotiations, following Poland and nearby countries introducing bans on imports of Ukrainian grain, sunflower oil, and other food products.

"We have acted to address concerns of both farmers in neighboring EU countries and Ukraine," said Dombrovskis.

Under the agreement, EU members will forego unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian imports, while Brussels allocates EUR 100 million ($110 million) to compensate farmers who are hurting from the decrease in domestic prices.

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Furthermore, the commission will introduce “exceptional safeguard measures” for imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed.

All parties have pledged to work to ensure Kyiv can still export its grain via the so-called “solidarity lanes” to other countries, as the Russian navy prevents Ukraine’s Black Sea ports from handling the usual volume of exports.

Starting on April 15, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria began imposing temporary bans on these products coming from Ukraine. The import bans were due to the shipping of Ukrainian produce through Poland to third countries causing imbalances in domestic agricultural markets and lowering prices for local farmers

On April 18, the Ukrainian and Polish governments agreed to restore the transit of Ukrainian grains.

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