Ukraine will suffer significant losses due to embargo on agricultural exports to EU – Hetmantsev

Ukraine will suffer significant losses due to the embargo on the export of its agricultural products to neighboring countries of the European Union.
The chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Taxation and Financial Policy, Danylo Hetmantsev, announced this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.
“That is, only these two countries (Poland and Hungary – ed.), which imposed a temporary embargo on the import of a wide range of Ukrainian agricultural products, accounted for 14% of total agricultural exports in the first quarter of 2023 (including 12% of grains and oil). Export losses will be greater if other border countries join the ban, especially Romania, which in 2022 became the second country after Poland in terms of the value of Ukrainian agricultural exports, including the No. 1 country in terms of grain exports,” the statement said.

Hetmantsev noted that Slovakia has already announced its intention to join the ban on Ukrainian grain exports (in addition to them, the heads of government of Romania and Bulgaria also signed a joint letter to the EU leadership. The latter minister in charge of agriculture said that his country would study Poland’s legal position before making its own decision on the matter).

“Therefore, Ukraine will suffer significant losses due to the embargo on exports of its agricultural products to neighboring EU countries. These losses will increase significantly in the event of a temporary ban on transit and the actual shutdown of the Solidarity Roads,” emphasized Hetmantsev.

He expressed hope that through mutual concessions and support from the EU, a compromise on this issue will be found as soon as possible.

As reported, Polish farmers have been holding massive protests over the past few months, in particular, against the transportation of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland to third countries. They emphasized that a significant part of Ukrainian grain is not transported in transit further, but settles in Poland, thereby reducing the purchase prices in Poland for grain from Polish farmers. Under pressure from farmers, the Polish government appealed to the European Commission to abolish the zero duty on Ukrainian agricultural products. However, the European Commission did not fulfill the main demand of Polish farmers to impose duties on Ukrainian agricultural goods and extended the agreement on duty-free imports of goods from Ukraine for another year, until June 5, 2024.

On Sunday, April 16, the European Commission informed that it considers unilateral trade decisions by Poland and Hungary, which banned imports of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products, unacceptable. Polish Minister for European Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said on Monday that Poland is ready to dispel all doubts about this order and work on additional solutions that will stabilize the situation.

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