Ukraine producers want clear EU food import policy for next five years

Export issues will continue if policy is not clear
calendar icon 29 April 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Problems facing some Ukrainian exports to central Europe will recur this autumn unless the European Union spells out a clear position on its food import policy for the next five years, Reuters reported, citing Ukrainian producers.

Some EU member states in central Europe have imposed temporary bans on certain Ukrainian agricultural products, saying an excess of Ukrainian supplies has affected local markets.

Ukrainian farmers say the ban on imports to Poland can largely be put down to political concerns before elections later this year. They also say countries are worried by the prospect of an increase in Ukrainian products on European markets as Kyiv is seeking EU membership.

"The main problem for most European countries is agrarian Ukraine, which will enter the EU with 30 million hectares of land," said Alex Lissitsa, who heads the Association "Ukrainian Agribusiness Club".

"They (EU) don't know what to do with subsidies and they don't know what to do with the domestic market."

Lissitsa said Kyiv must negotiate with Brussels rather than with separates states, and that a long-term solution was needed that would last five years - when accession talks are expected to be taking place.

"If some partial decision is made (today), we will come back to all this again in the autumn - French farmers will wake up, Italian farmers will wake up," he said.

Some European countries have became transit routes for Ukrainian grain since Russia's invasion in February 2022.

The EU executive, the European Commission, has offered 100 million euros ($110 million) in aid for central European farmers in addition to an earlier 56 million-euro package.

It has also said it will take emergency "preventive measures" for some agricultural products but central European states want this list expanded.

($1 = 0.9056 euros)

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