Kiev has decided to “pause” its complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary over restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports in an attempt to find a practical compromise to the problem, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, announced in Brussels.
“This is generally a question of the functioning of trade between the EU and Ukraine. We expect that the problem of importing Ukrainian agricultural products will be resolved in the coming weeks and months. There will be a lot of news on how the licensing system will change and so on. It will be very active work.
Until we find a practical solution, our discussions in the WTO remain suspended,”
the Ukrainian Trade Representative said.
Taras Kachka stressed that Ukraine is currently engaged in consultations, not disputes. “We are not in a dispute, we have not formed a working group to settle the dispute, we are at the consultation stage. We have sent this case to the WTO and have sixty days for consultations,” he explained. He stressed that it was important for the Ukrainian side to “find a constructive solution for the EU as a whole.” “Although our complaints relate to specific Member States, this is a systemic issue in our relations with the EU. Our aim is to underline that the EU and Ukraine share the same approach to trade agreements.”
He also noted that Kiev had already regulated the customs clearance of goods passing through five neighboring countries. “We see that no country prohibits this transit. This is a great joint achievement. We have one sticking point: The question of when the markets of neighboring countries can be opened to Ukrainian goods. This is a marginal problem, because we do not sell many grain products there, but it is generally a question of the functioning of trade between Ukraine and the EU,” he explained.
On the situation with Poland, Kachka expressed the hope that the issue could be discussed again after the Polish elections.
I do not see any systemic obstacles to solving the problem. It is a question of time. In addition, Poland has not yet received any export license applications from Ukrainian companies, and this is another indicator that there is no huge export pressure. We are using this time to show that in reality, it is in the clear interest of Ukrainian exporters to simply export to EU countries where there is a real demand for Ukrainian goods,”
He also expressed confidence that “the market will calm down this autumn.” “We are all returning to normal trade flows, which will allow us to restore a situation that is convenient for local farmers from neighboring EU states and Ukrainian farmers,” he said, noting that the “lion’s share” of Ukrainian agricultural products passes through Romanian Black Sea ports, Baltic Sea ports, railways, and roads.
Via MTI, Featured image: Pixabay