May 4, 2023, 21:00:02 CEST | Wikinews
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
4 May 2023: European Commission, five EU members agree to permit members to ban domestic sale of some Ukrainian agricultural products
23 April 2023: EU agrees €43 billion Chips Act to boost semiconductor production
22 April 2023: Russia sentences opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in penal colony
15 April 2023: Russian missiles strike buildings in Sloviansk, Ukraine, killing at least 11
14 April 2023: Ukraine decries videoed beheadings as committed by Russian 'beasts'
Map of Russian incursions into Ukraine
Pillars of Wikinews writing
Writing an article
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
A tractor tilling a field in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine, 2018. Image: Vitalii Bashkatov.
On Friday, the European Commission (EC) reached a deal with European Union (EU) member states Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia on imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine.
The agreement provided for 100 million euros to compensate farmers and allowed the five nations to prevent the Ukrainian products from entering their domestic markets. The five, in turn, agreed to allow free transit of the goods through their countries. Additionally, the EU extended June's one-year removal of duties on Ukrainian products for another year on Friday, pending approval by the European Parliament and members.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the bloc's top trade official, announced the deal: "I'm glad to announce that we have reached a political agreement concerning Ukrainian agrifood imports in the EU. We've agreed with the five neighboring EU member states and Ukraine on how we'll tackle the situation."
EC President Ursula von der Leyen said the deal "preserves both Ukraine's exports capacity so it continues feeding the world, and our farmers' livelihoods."
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: "We have just now finalized agreements with the European Union regarding the ban on the import of these agricultural products, which above all led to destabilization in the Polish market."
Cheaper products caused an excess of supply in these countries' domestic markets after the EU lifted those tariffs amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating it would enable the products to reach their target markets in the Middle East and Africa while Black Sea ports remained contested.
Logistical costs hindered re-exports of Ukrainian goods, driving down local prices and prompting farmer protests. On April 4, the EC adopted an "emergency support measure" providing over 56 million euros to Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria to help farmers but acknowledged this only partially covered losses.
Bulgaria is in solidarity with Ukraine, but a local glut is being created on the agricultural market, because instead of export corridors our countries are becoming warehouses.
—Yavor Gechev, Minister of Agriculture, Bulgaria
This did not assuage the farmers, and Poland announced a ban on imports from Ukraine on April 15, followed by Hungary the same day, then Slovakia on April 17 and Bulgaria on April 19, with an exception for products en route to other nations through Bulgaria. Romania did not enact restrictions, but appealed to the EU for "preventative measures" on products from Ukraine.
"Bulgaria is in solidarity with Ukraine, but a local glut is being created on the agricultural market, because instead of export corridors our countries are becoming warehouses," Bulgaria's Minister of Agriculture, Yavor Gechev, said before his nation imposed its ban.
Citing its single market nature, members — and the EU itself — condemned the bans. Arianna Podestà of the EC declared to CNN: "It is important to underline that trade policy is of EU exclusive competence and, therefore, unilateral actions are not acceptable."
"The flow of Ukrainian agro-export is a matter of survival for the Ukrainian economy, heavily impacted by the full-scale Russian war of aggression," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna said prior to the deal. "So, our common priority should be an extension of the suspension of import duties, quotas, and trade defense measures on Ukrainian exports to the European Union."
Have an opinion on this story? Share it!
Raf Casert. "Ukraine welcomes EU deal on continued farm exports" — Associated Press, April 29, 2023
Leonie Kijewski, Bartosz Brzeziński. "Eastern EU countries strike deal with Commission to clear Ukrainian grain glut" — Politico Europe, April 28, 2023
"European Commission, five EU countries agree to ban imports of five types of agricultural products from Ukraine" — Ukrinform, April 28, 2023
Dimitrina Solakova. "Bulgaria Temporarily Bans Import of over 20 Ukrainian Products, Exception Made for Transiting Goods" — Bulgarian News Agency, April 19, 2023
Vanessa Gera. "EU investigates after 3 countries ban Ukraine grain imports" — ABC News, April 17, 2023
Mayria Knight, Jonny Hallam. "Poland and Hungary ban Ukrainian grain amid glut from neighbor" — CNN, April 16, 2023
"COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2023/739 of 4 April 2023 providing for an emergency support measure for the cereal and oilseed sectors in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania" — European Commission, April 4, 2023
European Commission, five EU members agree to permit...
Thursday, May 4, 2023 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Related articles 4 May 2023: Eu...
On the campaign trail in the USA, May 2016
The following is the first edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidentia...
Suicide bomber attacks Istanbul, kills four
ss="published">Monday, March 21, 2016 Turkey Related articles 21 March 2016: Suicide bo...
Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two co...
Australia Related articles 30 August 2018: Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges t...
3 injured in drive-by shooting at Six Flags amusemen...
Friday, August 19, 2022 Crime and law Related articles 19 August 2022: 3 injured in d...