Kiev does not tolerate the refusal of Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia to let in Ukrainian grain. Although the European Commission has not extended the decision allowing the import ban, these countries are still not lifting the exclusion of Ukrainian products.
On Monday, Ukraine lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against three EU countries, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, for maintaining the blockade on Ukrainian grain imports, Világgazdaság reports.
According to the Ukrainian ministry’s statement, Kiev considers such restrictions a violation of the international obligations of the EU countries concerned. “For us it is essential to prove that individual Member States cannot ban imports of Ukrainian products. That is why we have launched proceedings through the WTO,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Sviridenko stated. “At the same time, we hope that these countries will withdraw their restrictions so that we will not have to settle our relations in lengthy court proceedings,” she added.
FactIn May, the European Union temporarily allowed five Member States – Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – to ban imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower from Ukraine to protect local farmers. However, the European Commission did not extend the ban on imports of Ukrainian cereals, which expired on September 15, because it considered that the measures taken since May had eliminated market distortions in the five Member States. In response, Warsaw, Budapest, and Bratislava announced their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports.
Hungarian Agriculture Minister István Nagy calls it “outrageous” that the European Commission is defending the interests of Ukraine, because the farmers who call themselves Ukrainian are in fact American, Saudi, and Dutch companies.
The Polish government has since spoken out on the matter. Government spokesman Piotr Müller told Polsat News that
We stand by our position. We are not moved by such a complaint to the WTO. We have no intention of withdrawing from the embargo imposed because we believe that it is the result of an accurate economic analysis and of the powers and competences deriving from EU and international law and powers.”
Polish MEP Beata Szydlo, former prime minister, also expressed her views on her social media page.
“Instead of lecturing Poland, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister should reflect on the example Ukraine is setting to the world by treating the country that saved her in the most dramatic moments,” she wrote.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured Image: Pixabay