EC seeking solution for Ukrainian grain exports to be acceptable to Kyiv, EU countries


The European Commission (EC) is seeking a solution for Ukrainian agricultural exports that can suit all parties, European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said.

“The position we are taking here is clear. We are seeking the solution, which brings the best results for everyone involved. We have initiated this Solidarity Lanes initiative to provide Ukraine with [an] alternative to the Black Sea export route. In terms of capacity, we are gradually approaching the volumes, which are needed for exports of Ukrainian agricultural goods. There are estimates for the next 12 months, the export volumes would constitute some 4.7 million tonnes per month,” Dombrovskis said at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

The progress towards such volumes is good, and a consensus solution is being sought that will help avoid possible litigations initiated by Ukraine in the World Trade Organization, because the EU is committed to assisting Kyiv, he said. But it is necessary to be sensitive to the concerns of the five countries bordering Ukraine and look for a solution acceptable to all, Dombrovskis added.

The discussion on the Solidarity Lanes, as well as on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products to the European Union and, in particular, to Ukraine’s neighboring countries, took place on Wednesday, he said. The work will continue through a coordination platform involving Ukraine and the countries concerned, he said.

This work will be happening in the coming days and weeks given that autonomous trade measures imposing a temporary ban on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia expire on September 15, he said.

At the informal Council of the EU meeting in Cordoba on Tuesday, European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski spoke in favor of extending these measures until the end of the year and said that the EC will discuss the issue on September 6.



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