"It is important to bring back full trade": Zelensky and von der Leyen discussed the EU grain embargo
Ukraine expects that the European Commission will allow the import of Ukrainian agricultural products to the entire territory of the EU as early as September 15. That is, that the restrictions that prohibit such exports to Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary will be lifted.
This was stated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The meeting took place within the framework of the Ukraine-Balkans summit.
"It is important to restore full-fledged duty-free trade between Ukraine and the EU and ensure free access of Ukrainian agro-exports to the entire territory of the EU single market. I expect that on September 15 any restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products in the EU will be lifted," Zelenskyy stressed.
He also thanked the head of the European Commission for the efforts aimed at normalizing the export and transit of Ukrainian agricultural products. Another topic of the talks was alternative routes for the "grain corridor" after Russia blocked ports in the Black Sea.
Ukraine's neighboring countries are not going to lift the embargo
In general, a centralized ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine to EU countries has been in effect since 2 May 2023. It replaced unilateral bans that were imposed separately by Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary and were to remain in force until the beginning of June 2023.
The reason was the protests of local farmers. They claimed that due to the influx of large quantities of cheap Ukrainian agricultural products they were forced to work without making a profit. The European Commission also allocated funds to support farmers in these countries.
The European Commission's ban was scheduled to be lifted on September 15. But all five countries demanded that the temporary ban on imports of Ukrainian grain be extended. In response, EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said that it would be necessary to take into account "new circumstances" when considering the extension of the embargo, taking into account Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, earlier Poland has already said that it will return to unilaterally blocking imports from Ukraine if the European Commission does not extend the centralized ban. "Our most important duty is to stand up for the interests of the Republic of Poland. Consequently, to protect the domestic market and the market of the European Union, which starts with us," the country's President Andrzej Duda said.