EU offers farmers financial ‘carrot’ instead of Ukrainian grain ban ‘stick’
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The European commission presented on Thursday a package of proposals to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania to unblock imports of Ukrainian grain, EU’s executive vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement.

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The proposed package includes a second tranche of agricultural financial support to affected farmers, joint safeguard measures on key products, and measures to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain exports via the ‘solidarity lanes’, Mr Dombrovskis noted.

The financial assistance proposed to EU farmers is subject to the lifting of unilateral measures on Ukrainian imports, Ukraine’s ministry of economy said in a separate statement.

"We underlined the importance of rapidly following a common EU approach, rather than unilateral solutions to avoid multiple bans and solutions which put the internal market at risk," the European commission’s vice president was quoted as saying.

Negotiations on unblocking imports of Ukrainian agricultural products will continue between Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the European commission.

Last week, Poland officially banned the import of Ukrainian grain until June 30, with Hungary, Slovakia and recently Bulgaria following suit.

In addition, Warsaw originally banned transit of Ukrainian agri commodities as well, which was resolved following two days of negotiating on Tuesday.