24 Jan 2024 11:01

Austria to support further access of Ukrainian agrarian products to EU market

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) - Austria has no doubt that Ukraine should have access to the European market after June 5, 2024, Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism Norbert Totschnig said.

"An extension of the regulation means the current access [of Ukraine to the European market], valid until June 5, 2024. This is done of out solidarity with Ukraine. It is unwavering," Ukrainian media cited Totschnig as saying in a break of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

He also said that the European Commission must ensure smooth operation of domestic markets in other European countries.

Imports from Ukraine increase competitive pressure on the European market, Totschnig said. He thinks it would be wise to take some precautions, such as broader protective measures for "particularly sensitive products," for example, sugar and eggs, to balance the market if larger imports cause market disruptions.

"The regulations have given [Ukraine] full access to the market. [...] The admission talks send a geopolitical message to Ukraine. [...] Still, Ukraine has to meet numerous requirements, among them the fight against corruption and fulfillment of the main terms," Totschnig said.

Speaking of Ukraine's prospective entry into the EU and its consequences for European agriculture, Totschnig said that Europe had managed to build sustainable, eco-friendly, 80% organic agriculture over the recent decades.

"We want this model to persist in the future. [...] This means there can be no accession at the expense of own agriculture. Here we will have to rack our brains. But, as I said, we are talking about a scenario that, in my opinion, is still in the distant future," Totschnig said.