Why are three European countries blocking Ukrainian wheat?

The European Commission decided to lift the temporary ban imposed by five Eastern European countries on imports of Ukrainian wheat. But Poland, Hungary and Slovakia rebelled against Brussels’ decision and its promise to continue restrictive measures. The executive’s decision dates back to September 16, but the “rebel” states already have special decrees ready to block the entry of grain and other raw materials from Kiev in order to protect their farmers and, in the case of Poland, to achieve electoral consensus. . The issue could complicate relations between the European Union and Ukraine, which is committed to unrestricted exports of foodstuffs needed for its economy weakened by the Russian occupation.

election question

“We will not allow Ukrainian grain to flood us,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the social media platform. The Warsaw government has guaranteed that it will not lift the embargo on wheat imports from Ukraine due to the damage to Polish farmers. Morawiecki, who is running a tough election campaign that will bring people to vote on October 15, said, “Whatever the decisions of Brussels, we will not open our borders.” said. The current right-wing government, led by the Law and Justice Party, has placed the issue at the center of election debates due to its wide support in rural areas. Morawiecki plans to make the issue a major voting issue to ensure the support of a solid core of voters. “I would like to reassure all farmers that we will defend the interests of Polish farmers without any ambiguity,” the Prime Minister said at the cabinet meeting. said. Although Poland is at the forefront of supporting Ukraine both militarily and in welcoming refugees, Warsaw does not intend to bow to the pressure of either Kiev or Brussels at this point.

Embargo

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, with the permission of the European Union, had imposed an embargo on Ukrainian agricultural products to prevent them from harming local farmers through more competitive prices. The ban, which had been in effect since April and was extended until September 15, instead only allowed the passage of goods to guarantee Ukrainian exports following Russia’s naval blockades of the Black Sea. Despite the extension of the embargo, even his intercession failed to convince EU officials concerned about the diplomatic repercussions for Kiev. At this point, the three countries decided to independently impose certain restrictions according to their own internal needs, this time without coordinating with the European administration. Slovakia expanded its previous ban on four types of grains, while Poland imposed further restrictions on flour and feed over the weekend. Hungary instead plans to ban 25 more products, including meat.

“Revenge” of Kiev.

Ukraine, which refused to lift the ban on agricultural products, decided to file a lawsuit against three countries and the European Union. More precisely, Kiev plans to apply to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for compensation for the damage caused by these restrictions. Another countermeasure will be to impose restrictions on Polish exports of fruits and vegetables to Ukrainian territory. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Šmyhal said in his tweet that “Ukraine will have to request arbitration at the WTO”, adding: “Any form of continuation of the ban is unacceptable as it would undermine the single market, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and EU commitments.” trust”. The Prime Minister then attacked Warsaw for allegedly exploiting “political populism” due to parliamentary elections due in mid-October. Kiev’s strategy is to undermine the credibility of the entire European Union as a trading partner. “I think the whole world should see how EU member states behave towards their trading partners and towards their own Union, because this can also affect other countries,” Ukrainian trade representative Taras said in an interview with Politico newspaper Kachka. The hope is probably that the European Commission and other EU governments will unleash their anger to force the three Eastern countries into compliance.

Source: Today IT

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