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New Grain War: Ukraine May Impose Sanctions Against EU Countries

Ukraine wants to complain to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about states that do not allow cheap Ukrainian grain into their territories.

Politico describes the situation as follows: in April of this year, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria received permission from the European Commission to limit the import of agricultural products from Ukraine. The reason was a protest by farmers in these countries, who feared that their states would be flooded with cheaper Ukrainian grain, which would worsen the competitiveness of local farmers.

The restrictions were meant to be temporary but have since been extended again, meaning they will end on September 15. However, it is unclear what will happen after this date, since Poland and other countries that have established restrictions continue to not want competition from Ukrainian agricultural products.

Technically speaking, the EU is a common market and individual countries cannot use special restrictions unless specifically authorized by the European Commission. Now Politico has heard rumors that these countries will not receive new permits after September 15th. But Poland has threatened to impose its own restrictions if it does not receive permission from the European Commission.

After this, Ukraine stated that if new restrictions come into force after September 15, the country will file a complaint with the WTO against the actions of the European Union. “With all the respect and gratitude that we have for Poland, if new restrictions are introduced, Ukraine will submit this case to the WTO as a complaint against Poland and the European Union,” Ukrainian Economy Minister Taras Kachka commented on the situation for Politico.

Ukraine says restricting agricultural imports violates its 2014 free trade agreement.