EU may extend "exemptions" from trade liberalizations for Ukraine to oats, corn, groats, honey

EU may extend "exemptions" from trade liberalizations for Ukraine to oats, corn, groats, honey


At the same time, on the initiative of several EU member states, the EU could extend "exemptions" as regards deliveries to the EU (besides wheat) to rapeseed and sunflower seeds, as well as corn, oats, groats, and honey. That’s according to an official of the Belgian Presidency of the EU, who spoke with an Ukrinform correspondent.

The guiding principle of the Belgian Presidency of the EU in discussing the issue with the Council of the EU and with MEPS remains the desire to reach a balanced agreement that would maintain strong support for Ukraine and at the same time allow the EU to respond to the concerns of farming communities regarding the import of certain sensitive products from Ukraine, according to the official.

He recalled that such work continues in full compliance with the EU's political decision to extend the autonomous trade measures for Ukraine for another year, as well as the commitment to support Ukraine for as long as it takes and with the required intensity.

At the same time, the representative recalled that the European Commission had presented proposals to strengthen the existing protective wavers in relation to these measures to reduce the likely negative impact of large-scale imports from Ukraine and certain sectors of the European agricultural market. Such proposals became the subject of tripartite negotiations between the Belgian Presidency of the EU, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. As a result, it was possible to reach balanced proposals that take into account the interests of Ukraine and at the same time protect European farmers, the interlocutor said.

In particular, it is proposed to include oats, corn, groats, and honey among the goods that may be subject to "automatic" protective measures.

At the same time, it is proposed to reduce the period for activating such protective measures from 21 to 14 days. Additional parameters that may activate such restrictions are expected to be adopted for wheat and other cereals. At the same time, member states are proposed to introduce stricter controls on the import of grain crops and sunflowers. The European Commission will be asked to strengthen control over the volume of supplies of these goods from Ukraine, and to take timely measures to prevent destabilization of the European agricultural market.

As is understood, some of the delegations are still not fully satisfied with the proposals that were agreed upon during tripartite negotiations. Some of them would like to introduce even tougher protection, while others would like to maintain the scope of autonomous measures in trade with Ukraine, said the representative of the Belgian EU Presidency.

After discussions at the level of ambassadors, compromise solutions, if found, will be sent to European capitals for consultation. A final decision on the extension of autonomous trade measures with Ukraine for another year, as well as on possible protective "exemptions", is expected to be made public on Wednesday evening.

As reported earlier, on March 20, representatives of the European Parliament and EU Council reached a provisional agreement on the extension for another year, until June 5, 2025, of trade liberalization measures for Ukraine in the conditions of the Russian war, with the simultaneous introduction of safeguards for the import of certain types of food products from Ukraine.

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