Ukraine has filed a case with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against three neighboring countries, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, for imposing a ban on food imports from Kiev.
Kiev says such sanctions by Ukraine’s EU neighbors are a violation of international obligations. BBC news.
However, these countries say the ban was necessary to protect their farmers from the effects of cheap grain imports. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, the Black Sea’s main shipping lanes have been closed, forcing Ukraine to seek alternative land routes. As a result, large quantities of grain flowed into Central Europe.
And because of this, the farmers of those countries have been protesting since then. They complain that Ukrainian grain shipments are harming them and putting the local market at risk. And as a result of that pressure, the 27-member EU bloc agreed earlier this year to impose a trade embargo on Ukraine’s grain imports to Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, as well as Bulgaria and Romania until September 15.
On the day the deadline expires, the European Commission, as the EU’s executive body, decides not to extend the ban. But the governments of Budapest, Warsaw and Bratislava refused to comply with the European Commission’s move and announced their own restrictions on grain imports.
Responding to this, Ukrainian Finance Minister Yulia Sviridenko said in a statement, “It is very important for us to prove that (outside of the European Commission’s decision) the bloc’s member states cannot individually ban the import of Ukrainian products.” So we are suing them (Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) at the World Trade Organization (WTO).’
Sviridenko added that Ukrainian exporters “have already suffered and are facing significant losses” due to unilateral sanctions.
“We are maintaining our position, we think it is the right one,” Polish government spokesman Pior Muller said. The ban is based on economic analysis and powers derived from EU and international law.
He even said that this case filed in the World Trade Organization cannot affect Poland.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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