Protest by 12 EU countries against new Ukrainian export rules

Twelve EU countries, including the Netherlands, have warned of new market disruptions due to the new import ban on four Ukrainian agricultural products in five neighboring EU countries.

The twelve LNV ministers thus join the growing criticism of the 'hasty' EU decisions to support Ukraine with 'overland corridors' for their grain exports and with the abolition of import tariffs and quotas for numerous Ukrainian products .

In a protest letter to the European Commission, the twelve countries speak of panic measures taken unilaterally by Brussels with which the EU ended border blockades by angry farmers in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.

Because grain transport by rail to Polish ports is slowly starting up, but export road transport freely enters the EU from day one, the 'frontline states' are complaining about price dumping.

The twelve EU member states warned the European Commission of a significant disruption to the internal market. A joint letter has been signed by France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Luxembourg, Estonia, Denmark and Slovenia. 

Those countries also feel ignored by the European Commission's unilateral transit agreement. The import ban in the five neighboring countries was also criticized last week by Ukrainian President Zelensky at his meeting with EU committee chair Ursula von der Leyen in Kiev. Zelensky called for the restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible. 

Chairman Norbert Lins of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee said a week ago that the EU had acted rashly with the customs exemption for the Ukrainians. Hungary is now threatening again with unilateral measures against Ukraine, with which the EU-critical Prime Minister Viktor Orban is once again clamping down on Brussels. 

Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski earlier this week hinted at the possibility that some customs and quota restrictions could be reintroduced on June 5, probably especially for poultry exports.

The current scheme will initially apply until 5 June. It is the intention that this will be extended, especially because the Russians continue to make it difficult to allow grain transports through the Black Sea.