Espreso. Global

Bulgarian farmers block roads after Ukraine grain exports ban lifted

18 September, 2023 Monday
21:35

On September 18, Bulgarian farmers began an indefinite protest and road blockades across the country. They are protesting against the permission to import grain from Ukraine

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This is reported by Novinite.

Farmers are blocking roads across Bulgaria as part of a protest to “save agriculture”.

It is reported that the protesters demand a ban on Ukrainian grain and food products, as well as urgent payment of state aid. In addition, they are asking the government to resign.

Photo: gettyimages

Deputy Chairman of the Association of Grain Producers Georgi Milev said that travel should be avoided because of the large agricultural machinery on the roads. About 300 farmers with tractors, heavy machinery and other equipment blocked the exit from Stara Zagora to the Trakia highway.

The Varna-Burgas highway is blocked in both directions near Haramiyat. Traffic from the Asparuhov Bridge is also stopped.

It is not known when the blockade will end.

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 introduced 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 EU measures to stabilize the agricultural market take effect.

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.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine commented on the export of Ukrainian grain to the European Union: "Ukraine expects that after September 15, the European side will lift any restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

On Friday, September 15, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain exports to the EU: Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced that they would extend the embargo unilaterally.

On the same day, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted that the EU's decision would not only help Ukrainian exports and the economy in the face of the blockade of Black Sea ports, but would also contribute to global food security. He called on individual EU member states to refrain from unlawful unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

At the same time, Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative, said that negotiations on agriculture had turned into aggression on the part of Poland and hints of influence during Ukraine's accession to the EU.

On September 18, Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas Puchades said that a unilateral ban by any EU member state on imports of Ukrainian grain is illegal. 

On September 18, Deputy Economy Minister, Trade Representative Taras Kachka said that Kyiv will sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for their refusal to lift the ban on Ukrainian agricultural products. 



 
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