Ukraine faces new blow to exports: Polish EU commissioner makes demands to the whole EU
Polish European Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, who is responsible for agriculture in the European Commission, threatens to disrupt the extension of EU trade preferences for Ukraine. Among other things, the European Commissioner demands a ban on imports of Ukrainian grain, as well as quotas on sugar and poultry.
This is stated in Wojciechowski's letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis, RMF FM reports. The publication also notes that if the proposals are not taken into account, Wojciechowski promises not to support the EC resolution on the extension of the duty-free trade regime with Ukraine. Interagency consultations on this issue end on January 9.
In his letter to the EC leadership, Wojciechowski suggests that the new regulation should include "safeguard measures" on imports of Ukrainian rapeseed, corn, sunflower, and wheat. It is specified that these are measures that the European Commission has already applied in 2023, which was a complete ban on imports from May to September. Interestingly, Poland did not lift similar unilateral restrictions after the European Commission's embargo was lifted.
The Polish European Commissioner also calls for the return of quotas on imports of sugar and poultry from Ukraine. According to him, imports of these products from Ukraine to the EU are "growing rapidly" and "threaten to destabilize" the EU's European market.
"Preserving trade benefits for Ukraine included in the EU regulation, which expires this year, without safeguard clauses and quantitative restrictions, threatens another crisis of excess imported agricultural products from Ukraine... We need to rethink the concept of our aid, which implies unlimited openness," Wojciechowski said in his letter.
In general, Wojciechowski blames the current situation on Russia, which has blocked Ukraine's sea export routes in the Black Sea. As an alternative form of support, the European Commissioner suggests that the EU should take care of the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products to European ports, from where the goods will be sent to Africa and Asia.
As reported by OBOZ.UA, earlier Polish farmers lifted the blockade at the Medyka-Shegini checkpoint. This happened after the Polish government signed an agreement with the farmers on January 6, accepting their terms. These include corn subsidies, as well as guarantees of no tax increases and cheap loans.