Grain dispute – Ukraine sues EU states over import bans


Kiev has filed a lawsuit at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against three EU countries over their ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products. “It is fundamental for us to prove that individual member states cannot impose an import ban on Ukrainian goods,” the government’s deputy head of economic affairs, Yulia Svyrydenko, said in a statement on Monday.

However, Ukraine hopes that Poland, Slovakia and Hungary will lift their import bans and that legal proceedings will not drag on for long. Proceedings at the WTO usually take a long time.

German Agriculture Minister complains about ‘part-time solidarity’
At the same time, pressure from the European Commission and other EU member states on Ukraine’s borders must be increased to make the import of agricultural products possible again. The European Commission must ensure that the internal market works, Austrian Agriculture Minister Norbert Totschnig (ÖVP) said on Monday. The infrastructure needs to be expanded so that grain from Ukraine ends up where it is needed – namely in countries in the Middle East and Africa, Totschnig said. German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has already criticized the blockade of Ukrainian grain by the governments in Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava as ‘part-time solidarity’.

The lifting of import bans was ignored
Ukraine has been fending off a Russian invasion for almost 19 months. Due to the ongoing war, usual sea exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have come to a virtual standstill. Until last Friday, land exports of mainly Ukrainian grain through the EU were restricted due to farmers’ protests. The European Commission’s lifting of import bans was ignored by Slovakia, Poland and Hungary with their own unilateral bans. Romania is considering a similar move.

Source: Krone


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