PRAGUE (Reuters) – Eastern European Union countries on Tuesday called on the European Commission to strengthen controls on union routes for Ukrainian grain and introduce a deposit system for exports.
Ukraine has been at loggerheads with its neighboring allies over restrictions on its grain, which it has been forced to ship by land since Russia invaded last year.
The EU has created alternative land routes, so-called “solidarity routes”, for Ukraine to export its grain and oilseeds, but its neighbors say the cheap products of agriculture in Ukraine destined for travel are sold locally, harming their own farmers.
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia this month imposed national bans on Ukrainian grain imports after the European Commission decided not to extend import bans to the countries and Bulgaria and Romania, also members of the bloc. .
“We chose to find a common solution for the entire Union,” said Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny on Tuesday after a meeting with his counterparts from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. “Together we call on the European Commission to develop a proactive approach to monitoring the effectiveness of integration corridors.”
Russia abandoned a UN-sponsored Black Sea grain deal in July that allowed safe passage for cargo ships, creating more shipping burdens.
Vyborny explained that the four countries also agreed that the Commission should study the possibility of establishing a deposit system for exports.
The deposit is required from traders who export from Ukraine and will be returned when it is determined that the grain has left Europe for its final destinations.