Zelenskyy urges Europe to lift grain embargo, deeming protectionist measures disappointing

Ukraine expects to have all restrictions on the supply of Ukrainian grain to EU countries lifted, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, we faced problems in what should have been strong expressions of solidarity. Harsh, even cruel, as for wartime, protectionist measures from our neighbors cannot help but disappoint. To put it mildly," he said at a press conference with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who came to Kyiv on a visit.

The Ukrainian leader believes that any restrictions against Ukrainian exports are unacceptable given the circumstances.

"This only strengthens the capabilities of the aggressor. We suggest starting a consultation group to monitor problematic issues and refrain from any decisions on trade without consulting Ukraine," he said.

The President believes that together Ukraine and the European Union can find a compromise on the issue of agricultural products.

In mid-April, Poland, followed by Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, under pressure from local producers, suspended the import of grain and other food products from Ukraine.

The countries agreed to cancel unilateral restrictions only after lengthy negotiations with the European Union, as a result of which the European Commission agreed to allocate 100 million euros for compensation to farmers of Ukraine's neighboring countries.

Due to the "bluff" of Polish farmers, Ukraine suffered $143 million in losses, the Ministry of Economy said.