Ukraine files 'fundamentally important' WTO cases against three EU nations
Yulia Svyrydenko (photo - Ministry of Economy)

Ukraine has filed lawsuits at the World Trade Organization against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, after they banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural products, announced the Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko, the press service of the ministry reports.

"It is fundamentally important for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods," said Svyrydenko.

She expressed hope that the states would remove their restrictions on Ukraine, making it unnecessary to clarify relations through lengthy court proceedings.

According to Svyrydenko, the steps initiated by Ukraine and the pressure of the European Commission and other member states will help restore normal trade between Ukraine and neighboring states, as well as show solidarity between them.

"We need solidarity with them and protection of farmers' interests," said the Ukrainian minister.

According to her, as a result of the unilateral ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, domestic exporters have already suffered and continue to suffer significant losses due to downtime, additional costs, and the impossibility of fulfilling foreign economic agreements.

Ukraine sees this as a violation of its international obligations by the three EU countries.

Also, the Ukrainian side believes that unilateral actions of EU member states in the field of trade are unacceptable, all member states of the bloc should coordinate and agree on trade policy, as it belongs to the exclusive competence of the EU.

Earlier, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced they would stop participating in the coordination platform of the European Commission on Ukrainian grain.

The platform was created to settle issues related to the import of Ukrainian grain. Representatives of Ukraine, the European Commission, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary took part in regular meetings in Brussels.

From September 15, 2023, the European Commission refused to extend the temporary measures that since May limited the free circulation of four Ukrainian agricultural products — wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower — on the territory of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Despite this decision, three EU countries — Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary — announced a unilateral ban on the import of Ukrainian grain.

Ukraine called this grain embargo unlawful.