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    Poland leads four countries in urging restrictions on Ukraine grain exports

    On Friday, Poland and three other countries neighbouring Ukraine – along with Bulgaria – sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC), demanding restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports. The letter was signed by the four countries, all of which have been adversely affected by Ukraine’s grain exports. The EC is yet to respond to the request.

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has written a letter to the European Union (EU) urging them to fulfil their promise to deliver grain imported from Ukraine to Middle Eastern and African countries. The initiative follows Morawiecki’s criticism of the EU for their perceived lack of action on this matter.

    Polish farmers are facing an uphill battle due to an abundance of grain exports from Ukraine. Full warehouses and decreasing prices have made it difficult for Polish farmers to sell their own grain. The problem is most pronounced in the countries neighbouring Ukraine, where the majority of the grain exports remain. Farmers have been vocal in their concern, citing financial losses and potential job losses as a result of the situation.

    Five European prime ministers have called on the European Commission (EC) to take action to address the agricultural market disruptions caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. In a letter to the EC President Ursula von der Leyen, the leaders of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia noted that the conflict has led to a significant increase in production costs and business risk, as well as impacting the European Union agricultural market. They urged the Commission to take action to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

    “The most severe disturbances are experienced in countries that border Ukraine or are in close proximity to it. These problems are related to a substantial increase in the supply of Ukrainian products to the markets of the EU Member States, especially those bordering or close to Ukraine,”

    they wrote.

    Agricultural producers are facing additional costs due to the difficulties in disposing of surplus cereals in storage, which has destabilised the market of cereals, industrial and oilseed crops, such as wheat, maize, rape and sunflower. This was according to experts.

    Five leaders have called for restrictions on the volume of Ukrainian grain imports due to the severe problems caused by the Russian war on Ukraine. They believe that some form of control should be implemented in order to address the situation.

    “On trade mechanisms, we propose to amend the current legal basis for agricultural imports from Ukraine to introduce the possibility of regulating the volume and direction of excessive inflows of agricultural products,”

    they added.

    In addition to this, the five leaders also called for increased financial support for farmers.

    “Given the scale of the above phenomena, it is necessary to significantly increase the amount of EU funds allocated to EU support measures. Additional resources are needed, because the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy – ed.) and national budgets are insufficient,”

    read the letter.

    In a letter addressed to Ukrainian leaders, signatories have called for additional funding sources to help agricultural producers who have suffered losses and face financial liquidity risks. They suggest that such funds could also help achieve the original goal of the Solidarity Lanes, which is to export Ukrainian surpluses to African and Middle Eastern countries and thus prevent famine.

    The signatories emphasize that these funds should be in addition to the emergency measures already in place. They argue that without this support, agricultural producers may suffer further losses and be unable to take advantage of the export opportunities.

    “Furthermore, we call upon the Commission to analyse the possibility of buying the surplus grain from neighbouring Member States for humanitarian purposes,”

    the prime ministers continued.

    “Moreover, we call on the Commission to propose a common EU solution, which in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), would ensure the purchase of Ukrainian grain so that it does not end up in EU Member States. This would help maintain the trade flow of food and mitigate the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on third countries,”

    the letter further read.

    EU lawmakers have proposed measures to protect farmers from the effects of imports from Ukraine. According to the proposal, an automatic support mechanism should be put in place to provide assistance to farmers in regions and sectors where imports from Ukraine are having an undue effect on EU markets. EU producers have been adversely affected by the influx of imports and thus lawmakers have suggested this measure in order to safeguard their interests.


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