June 8, 2023

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Ukrainian counter-attack "inevitable" • Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on Zelensky

Ukrainian counter-attack “inevitable” • Chinese President Xi Jinping calls on Zelensky

Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, was optimistic about the transit of Ukrainian grain through Eastern European countries. He hopes the two countries will soon agree on a deal that will allow grain to be exported across the countries again.

Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have banned Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from their lands since last week. Despite millions in compensation from the European Union, Eastern European farmers have stated that they cannot compete with low Ukrainian grain prices. They followed Poland’s example in the embargo, although now Warsaw has decided to let Ukrainian grain through again.

Last week, the European Commission had already proposed making an additional 100 million available, on top of the 56 million already pledged, to compensate farmers. But Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia hope to take more additional measures. The countries act as a transit route for Ukrainian grain, but much of the grain is still stuck in the countries due to export problems, which prevent farmers from stockpiling their own grain. Therefore, Eastern European countries want additional help from the European Union to solve these transit problems.

Earlier today, the countries expressed their desire to extend the ban on the transit and export of Ukrainian grain until the end of 2023. However, according to Logsieczowski, a new transit deal could allow the passage of 80 to 90 percent of Ukraine’s agricultural exports. This will only cover five products, including grains, wheat and sunflower seeds. Countries will be allowed to continue banning other agricultural products, including honey.

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Eva Silderbeck