European Union postpones approval of trade agreement with Ukraine
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The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has postponed the agreement of the trade agreement with Ukraine by the ambassadors of 27 countries, scheduled for today, to Wednesday, Polish RMF FM writes.

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"The approval of the agreement on duty-free trade with Ukraine has been postponed," the correspondent of the publication in Brussels said.

France and Poland, with the support of countries bordering Ukraine, reportedly want to make changes to the agreement that will further limit the import of agricultural products from this country.

The postponement of the approval of the agreement is due to the fact that many countries do not yet know how they will vote, the publication explained. The leadership of the EU Council decided to leave a little more time for a final decision.

"The Belgians do not yet plan to make changes to the text of the agreement, as, in their opinion, this would mean the need for repeated negotiations with the European Parliament, which would prolong the entire legislative process and jeopardize the timely agreement of the deal with Kyiv," RMF FM reports.

Diplomats from France, however, assure that the postponement of approval of the agreement means that "negotiations are ongoing" and that "the text of the agreement is not ready for adoption."

In addition to Ukraine's neighboring countries, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia also express their readiness to join the Franco-Polish initiative, the Polish outlet claims.

However, Germany and the Netherlands do not want changes to the agreement. They consider it wrong that, on the one hand, the EU allocates billions of euros to support Ukraine, and on the other hand, it wants to deprive it of the opportunity to earn.

The European Parliament supported the proposal of the European Commission to extend the liberalization of the trade regime with Ukraine until June 5, 2025.

The adopted decision provides for the extension of the temporary suspension of import duties and quotas for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products to the European Union for one more year – from June 6, 2024 to June 5, 2025.

The MEPs agreed to give the European Commission the authority to take quick measures and implement any necessary actions in the event of significant disruptions on the EU market or on the markets of one or more EU countries due to Ukrainian imports.

De facto quotas are introduced for the most sensitive products – poultry meat, eggs and sugar. If the import of these products exceeds the average annual import volumes for 2022 and 2023, duties will be imposed on them.

In May 2022, the EU abolished tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian exports for a year, and then extended duty-free trade until mid-2024.