European Commission looking for balance between Ukraine aid and EU market protection

European Commission looking for balance between Ukraine aid and EU market protection

The European Commission is looking for compromise solutions to problems related to the import of Ukrainian grain and its transit through neighboring countries, as well as a balance between measures to support the Ukrainian economy and the interests of the stability of the EU internal market.

European Commission spokesperson Olof Gill said this at a briefing in Brussels on Thursday, February 22, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"These are complex questions. There is no simple solution. Finding a solution that satisfies, on the one hand, the [European] Commission's commitment to continue supporting Ukraine's economy, including its agrifoods sector, which is of systemic importance to its economy. On the other hand, we are trying to find solutions to protect sensitive EU market sectors, when there is evidence of market disturbance. That's the balance we are trying to strike," he said.

Gill recalled that on February 20, a meeting of the Joint Coordination Platform took place in Brussels, with full participation of all interested parties, including the European Commission, Ukraine and representatives of five neighboring countries. He described the meeting as "extremely useful." The parties continue contacts both at the multilateral and bilateral levels, with the aim of finding mutually acceptable solutions through negotiations.

When asked whether the situation on the border with Ukraine has led to the destabilization of the domestic market, he again noted that this is a "complicated question."

"Poland maintains a unilateral blockade against imports from Ukraine, and one has to ask the question if that was functioning as it was intended to, especially given that farmers are now blocking some of the border points. As regards whether is market disturbance or not, this is something that the European Commission evaluates on a regular basis and publishes online," Gill said.

Polish farmers are conducting a general strike across Poland, blocking roads, key hubs and border crossings with Ukraine at approximately 200 locations throughout the country. The main demands of the protesters are a ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural products and Poland's withdrawal from the European Green Deal.

As of the morning of February 22, some 2,450 trucks were waiting on the border to cross from Poland into Ukraine.

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