Deal for Ukraine agricultural transit reached with 5 EU countries
The European Commission has reached an agreement with the authorities of five EU countries - Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - on the transit of food produced in Ukraine through their territory
This was reported by the BBC.
Last summer, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, and the UN agreed to create a "grain corridor" through which Ukrainian food can be exported across the Bosporus, but this only partially compensates for the decline in supplies.
At the same time, the European Union agreed to provide transit exports of Ukrainian goods through the territory of Ukraine's neighbouring countries without customs inspections and fees.
However, food began to settle in the European countries through which it was supposed to be exported. This led to a drop in grain prices in Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, and massive protests by farmers demanding that Ukrainian grain supplies be cut off.
As a result, the authorities of these several countries introduced measures against food supplies from Ukraine, including banning transit through their territory.
European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday evening that the parties managed to negotiate and agree on a deal that "will lead to the lifting of unilateral measures" and the resumption of transit.
He named five main points of the agreement:
- Safeguard investigations on certain other products, including sunflower oil.
- Working to ensure exports to other countries through solidarity routes.
- Withdrawal of unilateral measures by Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
- Exceptional safeguard measures for 4 products: wheat, corn, rapeseed, sunflower seeds.
- A EUR 100 million support package for affected farmers in 5 member states.
Earlier, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland decided to unilaterally ban imports of agricultural products from Ukraine. This is due to the fact that grain imports had a significant impact on domestic market prices. This caused discontent among local farmers.
On April 21, Poland said it would unblock transit to European ports for Ukrainian agricultural products through the country's territory. On April 24, Ukrainian Railways resumed transit of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland.
The day before, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Warsaw and Brussels had reached an agreement on the transit of Ukrainian agricultural imports, primarily grain and corn.
The European Commission has agreed to impose a ban on imports of sunflower oil from Ukraine, but the transit of this product will be allowed.