Ukraine to face challenges proving grain export losses resulted from embargo – EU official
Illustrative photo: EPA

Ukraine will not be able to prove to the World Trade Organization the damage caused by limiting the export of agricultural products, announced European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski during a press conference after the meeting of the EU Council on Agriculture, reports news agency Interfax-Ukraine.

For in-depth analysis and longer stories, follow us on LinkedIn

He emphasized that Kyiv's complaint to the WTO hinders dialogue, but he believes in this way of resolving the conflict.

"I really hope that we will resolve these issues through dialogue and mutual agreement. Having analyzed all the technical aspects of what Ukraine offers, I am still optimistic and still hope for this dialogue," he said.

In his opinion, it will be very easy to prove that Ukraine was not affected in terms of export volumes, and during the period of the ban from the beginning of May to the middle of September this year, it was able to increase transit through four border countries.

"From May 2022 to April 2023, when no ban had yet been introduced, it was established that 34.8 million tons, i.e. 2.9 million tons per month, were exported through land corridors. The ban was introduced in May 2023. 9.6 million tons were exported in three months, that is, Ukraine exported 3.2 million tons per month, despite the ban from five countries," said the European Commissioner.

He added that in the same three months of 2022, when there was no embargo, Ukraine exported 7.3 million tons via land routes.

"Well, the situation is as it is today, and we will see what exactly Ukraine will offer and how it will affect exports from Ukraine in October. We will wait and see what happens if Ukraine manages to export more when the ban is lifted," noted Wojciechowski.

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 decided against continuing 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.

Ukraine filed lawsuits at the World Trade Organization against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary after they banned the import of Ukrainian agricultural products.