EU member against prolonging trade privileges for Ukraine — RT World News

The Polish Prime Minister said that trade rules with Kiev should return to what they were before the conflict with Moscow

Warsaw wants the European Union to revoke preferential trade rules granted to Kiev after the conflict with Russia began, amid pressure from nationwide farmer protests, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters on Thursday.

Tusk said that in upcoming meetings with European leaders – including Thursday's meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the European People's Party conference in Bucharest – he would push for changes to protect markets and producers in Poland and the EU.

“By changes we mean the need to more or less return to the rules that applied in trade with Ukraine and other third countries before the outbreak of war.” He said.

Shortly after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the European Commission temporarily lifted all duties and quotas on Ukrainian goods for one year, with the aim of allowing Kiev agricultural products to be shipped to global markets. However, much of the supply ended up flooding Eastern European markets and destabilizing prices.

In 2023, Brussels extended the measure for another year, despite protests from farmers across the bloc, who argued that Ukraine's preferential treatment creates unfair competition and threatens their livelihoods.

On Thursday, the European Parliament's trade committee backed a proposal to extend Ukraine's special trading regime again until June 2025. The decision will need final approval at a session of the European Parliament in April.

On the other hand, Warsaw unilaterally stopped imports of Ukrainian food, following protests by Polish farmers – who almost completely closed the border crossings with Ukraine to prevent any grain from entering.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Ukraine had agreed to accept some trade restrictions with the European Union in order to end its dispute with Poland. However, Kiev in return demanded that the bloc ban the import of agricultural food products, especially grains, from Russia and Belarus.

Warsaw expressed its support for Kiev's request, with Tusk announcing on Monday that such measures would also be supported by Lithuania. According to official data, Poland's imports of food products from Russia amounted to about $380 million in 2023, compared to $1.8 billion in imports from Ukraine.

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