BELGIUM- European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, plans to offer a package worth 100 million euros (US$109.32 million) to support EU farmers after Central European countries restricted imports of Ukrainian cereals that depressed their domestic market prices.
Citing a European Commission spokesperson, Reuters reported that the pressure to develop an EU-wide solution intensified after Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced bans on some agricultural and food imports from Ukraine while allowing transit to third-party countries.
Additional Eastern European countries are also considering similar action, and this new package could pacify their reactions to the issues facing their domestic prices.
The Brussels-based commission, which oversees trade policy in the 27-nation EU, insists that nations not take unilateral action but instead coordinate all decisions within the EU.
The commission refers to this package as a part of “preventative measures” for various categories of grain and oilseeds, particularly wheat, maize, sunflower seeds, and rapeseed.
Additionally, it is within the EU mandate to limit the import of products into the whole or part of the bloc while still allowing transit.
Valdis Dombrovskis, European Trade Commissioner, is set to discuss the strategic disbursement of this package with ministers from the affected countries – Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia- as well as with Ukrainian counterparts.
Meanwhile, Chicago Board of Trade grains and soy futures lowered as the Black Sea “ship inspections resumed, despite the RF’s (Russian Federation’s) attempts to disrupt the agreement” according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, and crude oil’s dip pressured prices down.
The black sea grains initiative has been in jeopardy for a while now as Russia insists that the deal is biased and the country’s demands remain unmet under the two agreements drawn with the United Nations.
Moreover, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine of sabotaging the deal by demanding bribes from ship owners to register vessels and conduct inspections. However, the Russian authorities did not offer documentary evidence to support the claims.
Russia has been adamant about not extending the deal past May 2023, making an already precarious situation in Ukraine worse.
Therefore, Ukraine needs help to secure an extension of the agreement and resolve the growing opposition to transporting its grain through Eastern Europe to secure the future of its exports.