Bulgaria lifts ban on import of Ukrainian agricultural products, albeit on one condition

Bulgaria will lift the ban on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products as soon as the stabilization measures introduced by the EU come into force, according to the decision made by the Bulgarian government on Wednesday, the Bulgarian branch of Radio Liberty informs.

The cancellation of the national ban is the result of a principled pan-European solution to the problem, the Bulgarian government said in a statement.

The ban was adopted on April 19, following similar decisions by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, and came into effect on April 24. In addition to grain, the Bulgarian government decided until June 30 to ban the import of more than 20 types of goods from Ukraine, including honey, wine, milk, eggs, and poultry.

At the last meeting of the Council of the European Union on agriculture and fisheries, which took place on April 25, Bulgaria agreed to the package of measures proposed by the European Commission to stabilize the market. The measures will be implemented after the lifting of national bans.

A few days later, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary agreed with the EU to ban the import of Ukrainian corn, wheat, rapeseed, and sunflower until June 5. Instead, they will undertake to cancel unilaterally imposed bans on the import of Ukrainian food products and remove restrictions on their transit to the countries of the European Union.

The EC will conduct regular monitoring of other goods as well, and in the event of a market shock, it will introduce new protective mechanisms.

One of the EU's measures to stabilize the markets of the five affected countries includes a second financial package to support farmers from the most affected countries in the amount of 100 million euros.

Bulgaria will receive about 10 million euros from this amount, Acting Minister of Agriculture Yavor Gechev said on Wednesday in the parliament.

The European Commission has already allocated 56 million euros, which were distributed between Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania. In return, the affected countries will agree to continue duty-free imports of Ukrainian food products into the EU for the next 12 months.