EU calculates how much Ukraine may lose from new restrictions on agricultural imports

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 —

The Belgian presidency over the EU Council has updated the draft agreement on the extension of duty-free trade with Ukraine, taking into account new restrictions.

As reported by Radio Liberty, with reference to a source in the EU diplomacy on condition of anonymity, the updated draft partially took into account the requirements of Poland and France. The document says that the base period that will be taken into account when determining the volume of supplies of Ukrainian agricultural products will cover not only 2022 and 2023, but also the second half of 2021, when the volume of Ukrainian imports was lower. Ukraine opposed this proposal.

The European Commission's estimates, voiced at a closed meeting of EU ambassadors, indicated that Ukraine would lose €86 million if the second half of 2021 is also taken as the basis for calculations. 

In total, the restrictions, which will be based on import estimates for the first half of 2021, as well as for 2022 and 2023, are estimated to cost the Ukrainian budget €331 million. 


Poland and France supported the updated version of the agreement, with the support of a number of EU countries, including Italy, Hungary, and Austria. 

Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, the Baltic States and Luxembourg stand against the amendments.

The previous draft agreement, agreed with the European Parliament, stipulated that quotas for the next period, which will begin in June 2024, would be calculated based on the volume of Ukrainian agricultural imports in 2022-2023, when it already enjoyed benefits, such as no duties and quotas.

On Monday, EU ambassadors discussed the renewal and extension of the agreement, but did not approve it. The Belgian presidency postponed approval of the agreement until Wednesday, as many countries have not decided on their position.

Last Wednesday, the ambassadors also failed to approve the agreement, as Poland and France considered the text agreed with the European Parliament insufficient.

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