Tuesday, 19/09/2023 05:22 WIB
Photo: Ukrainian flag (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)
Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Ukraine plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization WTO regarding the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products.
The application could be submitted “in the near future”, a senior official said, following a decision by three NATO and European Union countries bordering Ukraine to ban imports of the country’s main export commodity.
Politico on Monday (18/9/2023) quoted Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka as saying in an interview that Kyiv planned to sue the three countries.
Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine, while allowing the transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere.
Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports on Friday after the European Executive Commission decided not to extend the import ban to Ukraine’s five neighboring countries in the European Union.
Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest said they were acting in the interests of their economies and farmers.
Kachka said to Politico that Ukraine may also implement reciprocal measures against fruit and vegetable imports from Poland if Warsaw does not cancel its additional measures.
Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus said the ban in Warsaw covered four types of cereal, but was also extended to include foods made from corn, wheat and rapeseed.
News agency PAP quoted Radoslaw Fogiel, chairman of the Polish parliament’s foreign affairs commission, as saying Ukraine’s decision to sue would “have a negative impact on Poland” and Ukraine should be aware of this.
“Our decision is not aimed at Ukraine, but is determined by the protection of Polish farmers and the protection of Polish interests,” he said, quoted on Tuesday (19/9/2023).
The European Union let its ban lapse on Friday after Ukraine said it would take action to tighten export controls to neighboring countries.
Kachka said Kyiv was ready to “take responsibility for ensuring that exports from Ukraine do not create a ‘tsunami’ in neighboring countries” and would implement a grain export permit system directly.
Agriculture Ministry data shows 1.4 million tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural goods left the country by rail in the first three months of the July-June 2023 season out of a total export volume of 4.5 million tonnes. Ukraine ships grain by rail via crossings with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Ukraine also shipped an additional 1 million tons of oil and oilseeds by rail.
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