Grain ban. Kiev filed a WTO complaint against three EU countries

“It’s very important to us Prove that individual member states cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods“, Ukraine’s Minister of Economy, explained in a statement. “That is why we file complaints against them”.

The three countries, Ukraine’s neighbors and its most important ally against Russia, announced on Friday a ban on entering their borders for grain that Kiev is barred from transporting because of a Moscow-imposed blockade.

They justify the ban with falling sales of their own produce and difficulties faced by their farmers due to flooding of the market.

In May, the European Commission allowed local restrictions on the sale of corn, wheat, sunflower seeds and canola from Ukraine, while allowing the transport of Ukrainian grain through these countries and through Bulgaria and Romania.

A non-extended decision in September led Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest to move forward with the embargo to protect the interests of their own economies.

Since Russia blockaded the Black Sea routes in the wake of the war that began in February 2022, about 60 percent of Ukrainian grain production has been shipped by river and land routes, by road and rail, from Ukraine’s five eastern neighbors. .

Farmers in these countries protested strongly to Brussels against the destruction of local markets and the losses they suffered.

Dissent in Europe

The Polish government has already reiterated that it will continue with its decision Despite Kiev’s complaint to the WTO. “We consider this to be fair,” Piotr Mueller, a spokesman for the Warsaw administration, announced on Polsad News television. “Such complaints to the WTO do not attract us,” he added.

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With legislative elections on the horizon in October, Poland has distanced itself and withdrawn from an integration platform seeking solutions to move grain from Ukraine in the EU’s east to world markets.

“Since Ukraine has said that it will sue Poland, we have to look more closely,” Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Delus told reporters in Brussels. “Any opinion we say on this platform will be against us,” he argued.

Its Spanish counterpart, On Monday, Luis Planas Buchades said the embargo appeared illegal to him, while Marc Fesneau, the French minister of the same portfolio, said European unity was being called into question. endangers the very foundations of the European Union.

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolau said on Monday that his country Assess the possibility of extending the embargo on Ukrainian grain for 30 days if import orders increase and “until the situation improves.”

Tsiolav acknowledged that there had been no increase in these demands since Friday and said he was waiting for guarantee plans promised by Kiev to tighten controls.

Ukraine’s response
Politico newspaper quoted Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka this Sunday as already anticipating news of Kiev’s complaint.

“It’s important to demonstrate that these measures [de embargo] Wrong in law. That is why we are going to initiate legal proceedings tomorrow,” Kashka said.

Poland admitted extending the ban to other products, leading the Ukrainian representative to threaten reciprocal measures “in retaliation”. “We will ban the import of fruits and vegetables from Poland”, Committed to politics.

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The previously approved restrictions were due to expire on Friday due to the European Commission’s decision Assurances by Kiev that it will tighten controls on its exports to neighboring countriesSo they don’t become “tsunami”.

Kachka assured Politico that Kiev would impose a “real-time” grain export licensing system.

Ukraine is looking for alternatives to transport its agricultural production. It was one of the world’s most important after Russia denounced a deal that allowed grain to be exported through the Black Sea in defiance of a Moscow-imposed embargo.

However, European agricultural aid to Ukraine has caused a real crisis within the EU, with producers from the five most affected countries protesting against the marketing of Ukrainian grain, which has been stored in warehouses.

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