Dozen EU states oppose Ukrainian imports ban deal
Twelve European Union countries have sent the European commission a "strongly worded" letter castigating a compromise deal reached with five Eastern European member states on banning Ukrainian agricultural imports.
Agriculture ministers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Luxembourg, Estonia, Denmark, and Slovenia said that the deal "undermines the integrity of the EU internal market", Politico reports.
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They called for urgent "clarification" of the arrangement, which they said the EU commission made "without consulting member states."
"As in all dimensions of our support, it is imperative to ensure that the European Union is united and that our differences do not play into Russia’s hands, especially on this particular issue, where Russia is threatening not to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative," the letter reads.
"We urge the Commission to return to a transparent procedure along established rules within the functioning of the EU and its member states."
In mid-April, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, 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 neighbouring countries.
On 2 May, the EU’s executive arm restricted the free circulation of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.