2 May 2023 15:07

Von der Leyen hails agreement on Ukrainian agrarian transit

MOSCOW. May 2 (Interfax) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has welcomed the agreement with five countries to continue Ukrainian agrarian exports.

"I welcome the agreement in principle found on the transit of 4 types of Ukrainian grain and seeds. A deal that preserves both Ukraine's exports capacity so it continues feeding the world, and our farmers' livelihoods," the Ukrainian media quoted von der Leyen as saying on a social network on Friday. She thus commented on a statement by European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who said a compromise had been reached.

She thanked Dombrovskis and European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski for their efforts.

EU ambassadors agreed on Friday to extend facilitation of Ukraine's trade for another year.

"The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) just supported a renewal of Regulation on temporary trade liberalization supplementing trade concessions under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement," Sweden, which currently presides in the EU, said.

The decision still needs to be approved by the European Parliament at a plenary session on May 8-11, and a formal decision shall be made by the European Council. The procedure will be finalized at the end of May.

A ban on exports of Ukrainian agrarian products to five EU member states - Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia - presented a problem. The ban resulted from the accumulation of Ukrainian agrarian exports in those countries. Therefore, von der Leyen proposed on April 19 that a temporary ban on the exports of corn, wheat, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil to those countries be imposed until June 5. In addition, the five countries were entitled to financial compensation totaling 100 million.

According to the Ukrainian media, Dombrovskis revealed certain details of the compromise on a social network. "I welcome the agreement in principle found on the transit of 4 types of Ukrainian grain and seeds. We have acted to address concerns of both farmers in neighboring EU countries and Ukraine with Wojciechowski," he said.

Dombrovskis mentioned key elements of the deal coordinated with Ukraine, namely, the lifting of unilateral restrictions by Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary, the provision of exclusive protective measures for four products (wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds), and a 100-million-euro package for affected farmers in five member states.

He also reported a probe into some other products, including sunflower oil.