Romania opens its way for licensed Ukrainian grain
Romania will keep its border open for grain imported from Ukraine with additional measures. Ukrainian grain is currently facing an export crisis as neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia decided to ban the import of Ukrainian grain on 15 September unilaterally.
“Our help is to help this grain transit,” Marcel Ciolacu, Romanian Prime Minister, told Romanian media Digi24 yesterday. Import and export of grain between Ukraine and Romania are still possible with a special licensing system. The licensing system resulted from concerns for the interests of Romanian farmers. Florin Barbu, Romanian Agriculture Minister, said on 20 September that Romania will work with Ukraine over the following 30 days for this grain export control plan. Barbu said the licence will only be issued for stock replenishment purposes dedicated to farmers and food processors. The licensed grain will be able to use the port of Constanta port to reach other markets.
Same neighbour but different stories
Unlike Romania, other neighbouring countries treated the Ukrainian grain export issue more cautiously, deviating from the European Commission’s decision. The European Commission introduced new measures to try and ensure a stable flow of Ukrainian agricultural products to the rest of the Union without disruptions for the farmers of Kyiv’s neighbouring countries. The first measure entails that all existing initiatives, including the ban on Ukrainian grain imports, would expire on Friday, 15 September. However, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia decided to extend it unilaterally. As a countermove, Ukraine is ready to sue the three countries at the World Trade Organisation, an initiative that was already announced at the beginning of September.