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EU countries seek protection from Ukrainian grain — RT Business News

Poland and Romania want local farmers protected from flood of cheap imports

Poland and Romania have asked the European Commission to set up a traceability mechanism for Ukrainian grain exports, their respective Prime Ministers, Mateusz Morawiecki and Nicolae Ciuca, revealed on Tuesday during a business conference in Bucharest.

Senior officials say Ukraine shipped much of its grain through neighboring Eastern European countries after its Black Sea ports were blocked as part of the Russian military operation. Many of these shipments are much cheaper than local produce, and due to various factors, they never left Poland or Romania, sparking complaints among local farmers that Ukrainian imports are undermining local crops.

“Together, we are engaged in a process to discuss with the European Commission what the mechanisms should be to enforce the traceability of Ukrainian exports and final destinations,” Ciuca said. Morawiecki added that the two nations “fight together to ensure that this grain leaves our countries” and need help from Brussels for their cause.

“This grain, as promised by the European Commission, was supposed to go to Africa and the Middle East. Meanwhile, procedural imperfections and delays in certain areas have led to the fact that some of these cereals and other agricultural products have remained, thus lowering prices for farmers”, would have declared the Polish Prime Minister.

According to European Commission estimates, farmers in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia have lost some 417 million euros ($451 million) over the past year due to the oversupply of grain caused by Ukrainian exports.

This is not the first time that EU members have drawn attention to the problems Ukraine’s grain transit poses to Eastern European countries. Led by Poland, six nations asked Brussels for compensation for farmers and a halt to Ukrainian transit through their territories in January. Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said earlier this month that the European Commission planned to allocate 56.3 million euros to compensate farmers, but called the amount insufficient and urged Brussels to allocate more of the European Commission’s reserve fund. The commission is expected to make a final decision later this week.

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