Espreso. Global

Bulgaria lifts ban on imports of Ukrainian grain

14 September, 2023 Thursday
15:31

On Thursday, September 14, the Bulgarian parliament voted to lift the ban on grain imports from Ukraine starting September 15

This is reported by the Bulgarian media outlet BNT News.

It noted that today's decision does not matter, as the ban is still lifted at the EU level. 

"This decision will have absolutely no consequences for what will happen tomorrow, the ban will still fall, but there will be other political damage," said Desislava Taneva, a member of the Bulgarian National Assembly.

According to local outlet News24-7, 124 MPs voted in favor of the decision, 69 were against, and 8 abstained.

Agriculture Minister Kirill Vatiev explained that control over imports of Ukrainian products will be tightened because they do not meet EU standards.

Initially, he was in favor of extending the ban, but changed his mind after reviewing the forecasts.

"Based on macro-level indicators, lifting this ban may not be a significant cause for concern, because Bulgarian producers can be supported. We are enhancing the oversight of all Ukrainian goods, radioactivity and heavy metals  will be strictly controlled," he said.

Some details regarding ban on Ukraine grain imports

On May 2, the European Commission adopted temporary safeguard measures against imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine to 5 EU countries. Initially, the ban was to be in place until June 5. However, on May 12, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary called on the European Commission to extend the embargo on agricultural products from Ukraine until the end of the year.

In May, it was reported that the Bulgarian government had promised to lift the ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine after the EU's measures to stabilize the agricultural market take effect.

On August 24, it was revealed that Hungary requested an extension of the EU's ban on Ukrainian grain imports.

Following this, Poland's Minister of Agriculture, Robert Telus, stated that Poland would also urge the European Union to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports. If the EU refuses, Poland would consider implementing its own restrictions. He noted that Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary had similar intentions.

In response, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its disapproval of the plans by Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Hungary to prolong the ban on Ukrainian grain imports until the end of 2023, deeming the actions of these five EU countries as unacceptable.

On September 13, Bulgaria's parliamentary committee on economic policy and innovation passed a draft decision indicating that the country does not support the continuation of the ban on certain Ukrainian agricultural product imports beyond September 15.

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