Unilateral import ban and transit ban imposed, Luxembourg is for the more complex solution

The European Commission wants a temporary ban on the export of five Ukrainian products to the five neighbouring countries of that country. With this import ban, she meets the peasant protests in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic against dumping ‘cheap’ Ukrainian products on their local market.

European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis is conducting frantic negotiations with those five countries. They also want import restrictions on other Ukrainian products, including meat and equipment. The agreement, which is now being prepared, deals with grain, corn, rapeseed oil, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil.

European agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said on Tuesday after the end of the monthly Agricultural Council in Luxembourg that he expected the deal to be closed soon. He pointed out that the five products account for almost 90 percent of all Ukrainian exports to those countries.

In any case, the temporary ban is valid until June 5th. Then the temporary exemption from import duties and export quotas established last year will expire for almost all Ukrainian exports to the European Union (EU). The European Commission has previously said that it does not want to reintroduce those charges, although the five ‘frontline states’ did ask for it.

Poland and Hungary unilaterally imposed an import ban on Ukrainian products last week, much to the outrage of the other EU countries. They even blocked the border crossings for all cargo traffic for several days. The Swedish presidency of the EU stressed that trade agreements are only made collectively by the European Commission.

In Luxembourg, Wojciechowski and Swedish President Peter Kullgren pointed out on Tuesday that such a temporary export ban to five EU countries could count on the tolerated support of the 27 agriculture ministers, pending a better, structural solution.