Ukraine has filed lawsuits at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their unilateral extension of a ban on grain imports from Ukraine despite the EU’s decision not to extend the ban.
“It is crucial to prove that individual member states cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods. That is why we are filing lawsuits against them,” said Ukrainian Economy Minister Julia Sviridenko.
Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian trade representative Taras Kačka spoke to the Brussels online bulletin Politics said that the actions of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia are an expression of complete distrust of the European Commission. He added that it is also a question of whether international trade partners can trust Brussels to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Commission decided on Friday not to extend restrictions on grain imports from Ukraine to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava then announced their own unilateral import bans.
Slovakia only extended EU restrictions on four types of grain. Poland introduced additional restrictions on Ukrainian flour and feed. Hungary, as Kačka said, went a step further and banned the import of an additional 25 products.
Exit from the joint platforms
At the same time, an unnamed source in Brussels told the Polish news agency PAP today that Poland, Hungary and Slovakia will withdraw from the common platforms for the export of Ukrainian grain, in which they have so far participated together with the European Commission, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania.
“Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have decided to withdraw from platforms out of caution and the possibility that Ukraine would use the information obtained at the meetings in legal proceedings before the WTO,” the unnamed source further explained.
Meanwhile, the European Commission, in response to the unilateral measures of three EU member states, announced that it is studying their actions and possible further steps. Several agriculture ministers from other EU members were critical of their unilateral measures when they arrived at the meeting in Brussels today.