KIEV, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization over bans on Ukrainian agricultural products, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.
The appeal could be sent out “in the near future”, a senior official said, and followed the decision by the three countries bordering Ukraine to ban imports of the country’s main export products.
Politico had earlier on Monday quoted Ukraine’s trade representative, Taras Kachka, as saying in an interview that kyiv planned to sue the three countries.
Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine, while allowing the transit of such shipments for export to other countries. places.
Poland, Slovakia and Hungary Announced its own restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grains on Friday after the executive European Commission decided not to extend its ban on imports to Ukraine’s five EU neighbors.
Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest say they act in the interests of their economies and their farmers.
Kachka told Politico that Ukraine could also impose reciprocal measures on imports of fruits and vegetables from Poland if Warsaw does not abandon its additional measures.
Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus said the Warsaw ban covers four grains, but was also expanded to include flours made from these grains: corn, wheat and rapeseed.
The PAP news agency quoted Radoslaw Fogiel, head of Poland’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, as saying that Ukraine’s decision to sue would “reverberate badly in Poland” and that Ukraine should be aware of this.
“Our decision is not directed at Ukraine, it is dictated by the protection of Polish farmers and the protection of Polish interests,” he said.
The EU allowed its ban to expire on Friday after Ukraine said it would take steps to tighten controls on exports to neighboring countries.
Kachka said Kiev was ready to “take responsibility for ensuring that Ukraine’s exports do not create any tsunami in neighboring countries” and would impose a “real-time” grain export licensing system.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that 1.4 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products left the country by train in the first three months of the July-June 2023/24 season out of a total export volume of 4.5 million tons . Ukraine sends grain by train through crossings with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Ukraine also shipped another million tons of oils and oilseeds by rail.
Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk, additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczuk-Semczuk, writing by Anna Pruchnicka, editing by Timothy Heritage
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