Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and his Ukrainian counterpart, Denys Shmyhal, held discussions on Saturday and Sunday to resolve their grain dilemma after the EU Commission’s decision on Friday not to extend the restrictions on grain exports from Ukraine to the EU.
Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu reassured Romanian farmers on Monday that there have been no requests for cereal exports from Ukraine to Romania, following the Commission’s decision not to extend the export ban. However, Romanian farmers are requesting an immediate 60-day ban to be put in place.
“We have reached a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and, since the European Commission made the decision not to extend the ban, not a single kilogram of wheat or other products has been imported into Romania”, Ciolacu stated on Monday.
Shmyhal is set to send a licensing proposal to Bucharest to find a solution.
Ciolacu assured Romanian farmers that things “won’t be like a year ago”. At the same time, he said that Romania can no longer accept that 90% of grain transit is by road, as authorities have made investments both in the railways and on the Danube routes, but they “are not used to their true potential”.
Despite the prime minister’s assurances, two important farmer associations have requested an interdiction regarding certain Ukrainian agricultural products.
The Romanian Farmers Association has called for the unilateral extension of the import ban on cereals and oilseeds from Ukraine, with immediate effect, for a minimum of 60 days, as well as financial compensation for dumping prices and increased transportation tariffs for Romanian producers.
“The incomes of Romanian farmers are estimated to decrease by around 30-40%”, the Romanian Farmers Association said.
(Cătălina Mihai | Euractiv.ro)
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