The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called today “unacceptable” restrictions on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products, after the European Comission (EC) yesterday reached an agreement with Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia to allow the transit of Ukrainian goods through those countries.
A ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenkoannounced today that notes have been sent to the Polish embassies and to the representatives of the European Union (EU) in kyiv to formally protest a situation that is “categorically unacceptable”.
The restrictions imposed on Ukrainian products by the group of five European countries “are not in line with the Ukraine-EU association agreement and the principles and rules of the single market,” Nikolenko noted.
For this reason, the ministry urges that a “balanced solution” be found based on community agreements, European regulations and the “spirit of solidarity” to immediately resume exports.
“It is the only way to successfully and jointly confront the large-scale Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and to strengthen the EU single market, of which Ukraine will become a participant,” the statement concluded.
The EC reached an agreement yesterday with Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia so that they once again allow the transit of four types of Ukrainian grain and cereal, which they had unilaterally interrupted.
These countries promised to lift the veto on the import of wheat, corn and rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine, as long as they do not remain in their territory, since they consider that their farmers cannot compete with the prices of Ukrainian products.
The Ukrainian president himself, Volodimir Zelenskyyesterday criticized the “destructive” impact of the bans on the importation of Ukrainian products in a telephone conversation with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
“The artificial and illegal restriction of trade with the European Union is hitting Ukraine, which resists Russian aggression, both economically and politically,” the president said, according to a statement, calling for a “constructive” solution and under a “European spirit.” ”.
A grudging agreement
The European Commission announced this Friday that Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia accepted, despite their reluctance, to extend the suspension of tariffs and duties on Ukrainian grain imported by the European Union (EU).
The Commission “reached an agreement in principle with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia on agricultural products from Ukraine”indicated on Twitter the Commissioner for Commerce, the Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis.
After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brussels agreed with Kiev to suspend duties and tariffs on grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain producers and whose fragile economy depends on this sector.
However, in mid-April, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria They banned imports of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine, sparking tensions with the European Commission, which directs the trade policy of EU countries.
The agreement reached on Friday “must preserve Ukraine’s export capacity so that it continues to feed the world and the livelihoods of our farmers”, highlighted the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Twitter.
The tensions between kyiv, Brussels and various eastern European governments came just weeks before the Ukraine-Russia deal to export grain across the Black Sea expires on May 18. Its renewal is uncertain.
(With information from EFE)
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