The EU is considering a possible tariff on Russian grain and restrictions for Ukraine

The EU is considering a possible tariff on Russian grain and restrictions for Ukraine


Against the background of months-long protests by farmers in a number of European Union countries, it is reported from Brussels that the EU is discussing the introduction of tariffs on grain from Russia and Belarus, as well as possible restrictions on the import of products from Ukraine.

Agricultural lobbyists in the EU claim that European farmers are suffering losses, because the cost of fuel, energy, fertilizers, etc. has increased sharply, and the purchase prices for grain and food are low due, as they say, to the influx of cheaper products from outside the European Union, and in particular from Ukraine.

The EU, in order to support Ukraine after the Russian invasion in 2022, opened its market to Ukrainian products, lifting many restrictions. The opening of the European market for Ukraine is considered as part of the process of Ukrainian European integration.

Farmers in the EU also complain that European rules related to quality standards and environmental protection make their production more expensive, even though they receive significant subsidies from the European budget.

Against the background of these complaints and stormy farmers’ protests in the capitals and traffic blockades at the borders, politicians are looking for a way out.

The Financial Times, citing people involved in decision-making in Brussels, reports that the European Commission is preparing an announcement on the introduction of a duty of 95 euros ($103.26) on each ton of grain imported from Russia and Belarus.

According to that message, the EU may also introduce a 50% tariff on oilseeds and derived products from Russia and Belarus.

This looks like a response to the calls, which were heard in particular from the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, to impose a ban on the import of Russian and Belarusian agricultural products.

But Poland, as well as Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, have been maintaining unilateral restrictions on the import of Ukrainian grain for a long time, although they insist that they facilitate the transit of Ukrainian exports.

Polish government officials have said that they want the European Commission to agree with the need for restrictions at the European level, and now there are reports that the Polish position has gained the support of France. magazine believes that some agreement was reached at a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin last Friday. quotes unnamed diplomats who believe that Ukrainian trade could lose €1.2 billion due to such restrictions.

“The EU member states that most loudly demonstrate their support for Ukraine are also the ones that do the most damage to it,” said one of those anonymous diplomats.

This issue may be one of the most problematic during the summit of the leaders of the 27 EU countries in Brussels on March 21-22.


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