German government minister promises help with the resumption of Ukraine agrifood exports to international markets

As German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir said before a meeting of the European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council configuration (AGRIFISH) that was held in Brussels on Tuesday, European Council representatives achieved a compromise on extending the autonomous trade measures for admitting Ukrainian agrarian products to the European market through a dialogue. Germany welcomes it and will continue to help Ukraine normalize its exports to global markets, including to countries of the Global South.
According to Ozdemir, the compromise is welcomed and it enjoyed massive support in Germany. Ukrainian media quoted that Germany was interested in ensuring the continuation of Ukrainian exports of agricultural products, primarily to destinations in the Global South, where food products are needed urgently.
Nevertheless, the Minister said that wheat had been called for excluding from the list of sensitive products by Berlin.
The compromise was described by Ozdemir as “reasonable,” as the EU agricultural sector’s and Ukraine’s interests are simultaneously promoted by it.
According to the report, a provisional deal on renewing the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the EU until June 5, 2025 was reached by the European Parliament and the European Council on Monday. Protective measures for farmers in EU countries have also been provided.
As the European Parliament said in a statement on its website, these unilateral trade liberalization measures will help stabilize the Ukrainian economy and facilitate the country’s gradual integration into the EU’s internal market.
It was also said that the European Commission will be empowered to take swift action and impose any measures it deems necessary in the instance of significant disruption to the EU market or the markets of one or more EU countries due to Ukrainian imports, for instance wheat.
For example, the EU may apply an emergency brake for particularly sensitive agricultural products, i.e. poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, groats, maize and honey as part of reinforced safeguard measures aimed at protecting its farmers. The extension of the reference period used as a base for employing this automatic safeguard was agreed on by negotiators.
Nevertheless, tariffs would be reviewed if imports of these products rise above the average of import volumes recorded in the second half of 2021 over the whole of 2022 and 2023. It was also committed by the European Commission to step up its monitoring of imports of grain, particularly wheat.
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