Ukraine takes Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to WTO arbitrage over grain import bans

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Kyiv has lodged lawsuits with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary after the three countries introduced unilateral bans on imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce, Ukraine’s Economy Ministry said on Sept. 18.

Read also: Bulgarian farmers protest imports of Ukrainian produce

Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko stated that it is fundamentally important for Ukraine to prove that individual EU countries cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods.

“Therefore, we are filing lawsuits against them in the WTO,” she said.

“At the same time, we hope that these states will lift their restrictions and we won’t need to spend a long time settling matters in court. We need solidarity from them and protection for our farmers. The steps we have taken and pressure from the European Commission and other member states will help restore normal trade between Ukraine and neighboring states, and show solidarity between us.”

According to Svyrydenko, the unilateral ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products has already led to losses for Ukrainian exporters.

Read also: Zelenskyy, Duda to Meet in New York during UN General Assembly

The ministry stated that Ukraine believes that Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary are violating their international obligations and that their unilateral actions are “unacceptable.” They pointed out that “all member countries of the block should coordinate and agree upon trade policies, as it falls within the exclusive competence of the EU.”

Read also: Brussels allows Ukraine grain import ban to expire

On Sept. 15, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on importing Ukrainian grains into Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, provided that Ukraine adheres to certain rules, such as implementing export control measures.

After this, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced they would unilaterally continue the ban on importing Ukrainian grains. Besides wheat, rapeseed, sunflower, and corn, Poland has banned the import of groats and flour into the country, while Hungary has expanded the list to 25 items.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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