Slovakia is ready to defend its position on the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and does not plan to cancel the restrictions imposed. This was announced on Monday, September 18, by the head of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic, Josef Bires, after a meeting of the EU Council on Agriculture and Fisheries in Brussels.
According to him, Slovakia has not yet lifted the national embargo on certain Ukrainian agricultural goods. The European Commission called on the republic, like Hungary and Poland, to refuse the unilateral extension of the embargo on Ukrainian agricultural goods.
“Our position is that we will apply unilateral measures until the guarantee system on the part of Ukraine is assessed, until there are guarantees that imports are under control,” the TASR agency quotes him as saying.
He added that the agricultural department, together with customs officers, will study the Ukrainian system and prepare logistics for inspection, which may take a month or two.
Meanwhile, the Slovak government informed that the ban on the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine will remain in effect until the end of 2023.
Poland, Slovakia and Hungary decided to boycott the work of the EC coordination platform to resolve problematic issues related to Ukrainian grain due to Kyiv’s threats to appeal to the WTO. Representatives of the EC, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine took part in the work of the platform. Its meetings took place in Brussels, the last one taking place on September 18.
Earlier that day, the head of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, Yulia Sviridenko, said that it is fundamentally important for Kiev to prove that individual states cannot impose bans on the import of Ukrainian goods, which is why the country’s leadership filed a claim with the WTO.
Commenting on this situation, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called the controversy surrounding Ukrainian grain “games” of the West and Kyiv, which are turning into global disasters.