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Slovakia has mentioned it’s going to drop a ban on grain imports from Ukraine, bowing to EU calls for and agreeing a preliminary cope with Kyiv on a licensing system.
The settlement leaves Poland and Hungary as the one nations defying the EU to limit Ukrainian grain imports, in a stand-off that has divided the bloc because it seeks to help Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion.
Slovakia’s restrictions on Ukrainian grain will stay in place till the brand new system is launched, its agriculture ministry mentioned on Thursday. In return, Kyiv will take away Slovakia from a commerce criticism filed this week with the World Commerce Group.
Talks between Kyiv and Warsaw, nevertheless, haven’t to this point yielded a deal, and Poland’s prime minister on Wednesday mentioned the nation would pull back from sending weapons to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi mentioned on Thursday he had spoken together with his Polish counterpart Robert Telus and anticipated to carry additional talks.
“The ministers mentioned the scenario, in addition to Ukraine’s proposal for its settlement, and agreed to discover a answer that takes into consideration the pursuits of each nations,” Solskyi mentioned in a press release.
Telus welcomed the discussions however mentioned Ukraine ought to begin by dropping its WTO case.
“We’re all the time prepared for talks, however the curiosity of the Polish farmer is all the time a very powerful for us,” Telus mentioned. “That’s why I’m glad that Ukraine has lastly began speaking with us. With us, not with Germany or the European Union over our heads.”
The tensions over grain got here after Brussels on Friday agreed with Kyiv to raise a brief ban on Ukrainian grain that was first introduced in Might, aiming to forestall the nation’s merchandise from flooding the markets of its neighbours.
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has diverted extra grain exports by land routes throughout borders with its western neighbours due to Moscow’s blockade of its Black Sea ports.
Below the newest settlement with the EU, Ukraine mentioned it will put in place an export management system to forestall surges of cheaper grain into the bloc. However that didn’t stop Poland, Slovakia and Hungary from imposing unilateral bans, which Ukraine then challenged earlier than the WTO.
Romania and Bulgaria, two different EU nations that took measures earlier this 12 months to forestall a Ukrainian grain glut, didn’t be part of the newest Polish-led restrictions.
The leaders of Poland and Ukraine have exchanged sharp phrases over the previous week, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing “some in Europe” of “turning grain right into a thriller” and suggesting that that they had performed into Russia’s fingers.
Slovakia has struck a extra conciliatory be aware. Its agriculture minister, Jozef Bíreš, held on-line talks together with his Ukrainian counterpart on Wednesday to keep away from “even hints of a lawsuit or restrictions on bilateral commerce”, Bíreš mentioned.
Throughout their talks on Wednesday, Bíreš requested that Ukraine drop its WTO litigation in opposition to Slovakia and take away threats to retaliate with a ban on Slovak exports. Solskyi “promised to cease these steps”, the Slovak agriculture ministry mentioned.
Solskyi additionally spoke on Wednesday together with his Hungarian counterpart, István Nagy. The Ukrainian minister later mentioned “Hungary continues to analyse the scenario relating to the export of Ukrainian agricultural merchandise and can examine the motion plan offered by Ukraine”.
The European Fee mentioned it had acquired Ukraine’s plan, which included a verification system, and was inspecting it.
“When that is [in place] we see no must have unilateral bans,” mentioned fee spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer. She warned that Brussels may launch authorized proceedings in opposition to nations that continued the bans, resulting in fines.
Further reporting by Barbara Erling in Warsaw and Andrew Bounds and Alice Hancock in Brussels