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Brussels extends ban on Ukrainian grain in neighboring countries until September 15 despite kyiv's rejection


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Brussels extends ban on Ukrainian grain in neighboring countries until September 15 despite kyiv's rejection


The European Commission has extended until September 15 the temporary veto on grain from Ukraine granted to the five neighboring countries --Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia-- to deal with the blockade caused by the increase in grain imports and despite Kiev's requests that it not go beyond this June 5, when the measure expired.

This preventive and exceptional measure on imports of products from Ukraine, which entered into force on May 2, affects wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, although the products may continue to circulate through these five Member States to go to other EU countries.

Brussels was already contemplating its extension if the volume of Ukrainian grain imports continued to disrupt the economies of the countries in the front line, also taking into account the extension until June 2024 of tariff exemptions for agricultural products from Ukraine.

These temporary and specific measures were adopted due to logistics bottlenecks related to these products in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and on the condition that the Member States do not maintain any restrictive measures, as is the case in Budapest, that it has not yet lifted its national ban on imports.

Thus, in the event that the transit of Ukrainian goods is hampered by excessively onerous requirements in one or more of the five Member States, the Commission will reassess whether the conditions for imposing these preventive measures are maintained.

From Kiev, the idea of ​​the extension was rejected on the grounds that "this is not the way", as the Ukrainian minister of agriculture, Mykola Solskyi, already pointed out on the margins of the Council of Agriculture on May 30, who warned that Russia was "trying to take advantage of this situation."

Along the same lines as Solskyi, the Agriculture Ministers of 13 EU countries, including Spain, also raised critical voices in a letter addressed to the European Commission on May 12, in which they expressed "serious concerns" for considering that the veto "leads to differential treatment within the Internal Market" and that it could compromise the solidarity of the EU with Ukraine.

However, despite the rejection generated, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Januzs Wojciechowski, advocated extending the veto until the end of October, once the harvest was finished, to guarantee that Ukraine's five neighboring countries had sufficient storage, while He defended that the measure is also "beneficial" for Kiev.

But at the opposite extreme, the commissioner's proposal did not satisfy the countries neighboring Ukraine either, which demand that the veto be extended at least until the end of 2023, in addition to "adequate" financial compensation for their farmers, according to the Slovak delegation. .