Polish Minister of Agriculture Robert Telus spoke about the difficulties in the negotiations of the coalition of five neighoring countries that insist on the introduction of a flexible list of agricultural products banned from importing into their countries from Ukraine after September 15.
Five front-line European countries – Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania – want the EU list to ban imports of agricultural products from Ukraine to be “flexible,” Telus told the Polish radio station RMF FM after a meeting of five ministerial leaders agriculture of countries neighboring Ukraine in the Spanish city of Cordoba.
According to him, the idea is that a product can be removed from the list if its importation is desirable, or a new product can be added in case of excessive importation.
According to Telus, THE “flexible list” sounds good, but it opens up the field for fairs and playing five by the EC. It means that five countries are no longer behind the list of four products currently subject to the EU ban, which includes: wheat, maize, sunflower seeds and rapeseed.
“We have a little problem with Bulgaria,” Telus admitted, adding that Bulgaria wants sunflower seeds removed from the list as Bulgarian processors need to import sunflower seeds from Ukraine. Instead, it would like to add “powdered milk” to the list.
Telus said that Poland, in turn, wants to add raspberries or honey to the list. It is also unknown whether all other neighboring countries of Ukraine – in the event of a negative decision by the EC – will also introduce unilateral bans, as Poland plans to do.
The minister said that only Hungary “declares very strongly that it will introduce such a ban together with Poland,” while the Slovaks “think about it very seriously.”
The Polish minister said that negotiations on this issue are still ongoing.
The minister also said that during the meeting of EU agrarian ministers, which took place on Tuesday in Cordoba (Spain), he did not hear sharply negative opinions from colleagues about the extension of the ban. He said France was talking “very prudently” about the need to build “an tool for the future, because Ukraine will stay with us for a long time.”
Telus announced a meeting via video links between the ministers of the five countries and the French minister. At the same time, the Polish minister admitted that he had heard that President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen allegedly promised Ukraine that she would not agree to an extension of the ban.