Ukraine ‘pauses’ WTO lawsuit regarding grain case

Ukraine ‘pauses’ WTO lawsuit regarding grain case

Ukraine has ‘paused’ a lawsuit filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against certain Member States of the European Union and continues consultations in order to find a constructive solution to the ‘grain issue’, which would meet the interests of neighboring countries and Ukraine itself.

The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Deputy Minister Taras Kachka during a meeting with journalists in Brussels, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“We have the only sensitive question left – when will the markets of neighboring states be able to open for sales. But, this is a minor problem, because statistically we do not sell a lot of grain products there. This issue concerns the functioning of the trade regime between Ukraine and the European Union in general. We can see that this issue will be fixed in the coming weeks and months. There will be a lot of news about how the licensing regime changes, some amendments are made – this is a very active work. It is obvious that our disputes in the WTO are on hold for the time being, while we are looking for such a practical solution,” Kachka told.

The Ukrainian official noted that politically he understands the demand of the Polish government that Ukraine withdraw its claim from the WTO, but this claim has not become a trade dispute, as it is currently at the stage of consultations.

“From a purely legal point of view, we do not currently have a dispute because we have not resorted to dispute resolution structures and arbitration. We are at the stage of consultations, for which 60 days are provided. First of all, we will focus on finding solutions, we are conducting very constructive negotiations. For us, a pan-European constructive solution is very important,” Kachka noted.

In his words, even though Ukraine’s objection is directed against certain Member States, including Poland, it is a systemic issue regarding Ukraine’s relations with the European Union.

“Hence, our goal is not just to withdraw this complaint, but to emphasize that Ukraine and the European Union have the same approaches to the organization of trade. We do not deny such a request of the Polish government, we are looking for a solution to all these problems in a comprehensive way, in a way that will show unity between us and Poland, and between us and the European Union, and also between Poland and the European Union,” Kachka explained.

He emphasized that there is no ‘grain embargo’ in relations between Ukraine and neighboring countries, and it is this loud phrase that causes the most problems. Instead, since April 2023, according to the Ukrainian official, significant progress has been made in improving grain transportation logistics. In particular, the Polish government made great efforts to improve the transportation conditions of Ukrainian products. Constructive efforts are underway to improve logistics between Ukraine, Moldova and Romania, with the support of the United States.

“Another aspect that was well regulated is the customs clearance of those goods being transited through five neighboring states. We see that no country bans this transit, and does not think about banning it, so this is a great joint achievement,” Kachka added.

The deputy minister concluded that he does not see any systemic obstacles to solving all the mentioned problems, and hopes to continue the constructive dialogue with Poland.

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