Ukraine and EU Announce Joint Platform for Agricultural Exports

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, have announced their intention to establish a joint coordination group with the EU to address issues related to the export of Ukrainian agricultural products.

Zelenskyy has noted that Ukraine is counting on the solidarity of its neighbouring countries given the extraordinary challenges it faces.

"The tough, even cruel protectionist measures of our neighbours during the war cannot but disappoint, to put it mildly. Any restrictions on our exports are absolutely unacceptable now, because it does not strengthen us all in Europe, but only strengthens the aggressor's capabilities," Zelenskyy said at a joint briefing with von der Leyen in Kyiv.

"We propose to establish a coordination group to monitor the relevant issues and to refrain from any decisions on trade without consulting Ukraine. We expect the EU to make firm European decisions and lift all restrictions as soon as possible if there is a political will. And our talks today show that there is such a will.

We will be able to find optimal and truly strong solutions that will protect the interests of both Europe as a whole and Ukrainians, who suffer, on top of everything else, from the export restrictions imposed on us," he added.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has noted that the situation with Ukrainian exports requires an urgent solution. "The immediate priority now is to ensure that grain imports continue uninterrupted and at the lowest possible cost. This requires the close cooperation of various parties. To this end, we will set up a coordination platform to make the 'routes of solidarity' fully operational," said Ursula von der Leyen.

On May 2, the European Commission imposed a ban (Ukr) on imports of a number of agricultural products from Ukraine to five EU countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, while maintaining their transit.

The ban will be in effect until June 5, but may be extended.

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