17 Apr 2023 09:25

Some EU countries propose restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural exports

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - Ukraine's neighbors Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have agreed on a joint position regarding the problem of Ukrainian agricultural exports and expressed a willingness to introduce measures to restrict imports of "specific goods," the Polish Agriculture Ministry reported, citing Minister Robert Telus.

Representatives of these six countries held a meeting on Friday at which they worked out a common view on the situation and determined possible instruments for restricting imports from Ukraine, the ministry said. These conclusions will be set out in a letter they plan to send to the European Commission.

Telus said at a briefing after the meeting that he held online talks with Ukrainian Agrarian Policy Minister Nikolai Solsky.

"We want to sign a document with which we will stop imports of grain from Ukraine into Poland. We still need to work out the technical details," Telus said, adding that there will still be repeated talks with the Ukrainian minister before the document is signed.

He recalled that imports of Ukrainian grain with unloading in Poland have already been stopped, but transit shipments are still allowed and the Polish authorities want to safeguard Poland. The European Union's so-called solidarity corridors for Ukrainian agricultural exports should continue to operate and it is necessary to help Ukraine, but not in a way that hurts Poland, Telus said.

The Associated Press reported earlier that the EU's decision to exempt Ukrainian agricultural products from duties has led to a glut on local markets and a drop in prices, upsetting European farmers.

Unprecedented amounts of Ukrainian grain and oilseed crops are arriving and staying in EU countries bordering Ukraine. Moreover, Ukraine has begun to export more poultry meat, eggs and honey to Europe, Hungary's Agriculture Ministry said.