Ukraine is planning to impose a complete ban on imports from neighboring Moldova, in a tit-for-tat response to restrictions introduced this week by Chisinau on Ukrainian grain.
On Saturday, Moldova’s agriculture minister, Vladimir Bolea, said that the nation had joined a month-long EU embargo on some Ukrainian grains, while allowing their transit. Bolea claimed the country’s warehouses are already full and local farmers are under pressure from an influx of Ukrainian grain. “They are worried that they will not have spaces for the new harvest,” he explained.
Criticizing the move, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Taras Kachka said Kiev had “informed Chisinau that any restriction on the part of Moldova will be considered an extremely unfriendly step and will entail an immediate ban on all imports from Moldova.”
The EU ban that came into effect on May 2 includes imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds. The measure is expected to alleviate bottlenecks related to these goods in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
EU country reveals losses from Ukrainian grain imports
It also supersedes the state-level embargoes enacted by Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, along with other countries that border or are close to Ukraine, in the face of the glut of Ukrainian grain.
Last year, Brussels abolished tariffs and quotas for Ukrainian agricultural products, and worked to facilitate exports in an attempt to support Kiev financially. However, Eastern European nations have faced protests as local farmers struggled to compete with cheaper imports.
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