Agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski says the bloc will take appropriate measures in response to Kiev’s WTO complaint
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski © Getty Images / Francisco J. Olmo; Europa Press
European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski has said he was surprised by Ukraine’s decision to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The three EU states broke ranks with Brussels by refusing to lift embargoes on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products.
“I was quite surprised that Ukraine chose this path, given the enormous efforts that the Member States have made so far,” said Wojciechowski, speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Monday.
He said that it would be “very easy” to show that Kiev had not suffered any damage to its grain export volumes, adding that despite the embargo by the three EU states, Ukraine’s grain shipments have increased.
Nevertheless, the commissioner stressed that he hopes the EU and Ukraine will be able to resolve the issue “through dialogue and mutual agreement” and that he remains “optimistic” that such dialogue will take place. He also noted that Brussels does not currently intend to introduce any sanctions against the countries that have retained import bans on Ukrainian grain.
Wojciechowski’s comments come after Kiev announced on Monday that it will sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in the WTO over their unilateral grain bans, and in turn, will consider retaliatory trade restrictions.