Latvia pushes for EU ban on Russian grain, offers to replace it with Ukrainian products

Latvia pushes for EU ban on Russian grain, offers to replace it with Ukrainian products

Latvia has banned the import of Russian grain at the legislative level, and is now proposing that the EU undertake similar measures, since all such products can be replaced by cereals harvested in Ukraine.

Latvian Minister of Agriculture Armands Krauze stated this today in Brussels at the doorstep of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, reports an Ukrinform correspondent.

"We are still asking to put Russian grains and food under the sanctions. Latvia adopted a national law regarding the import from Russia into the Republic of Latvia. This does not affect transit to third countries, including other EU countries. But, since last Thursday, our parliament passed a ban on Russian grain and foodstuff import to the Republic of Latvia," said Krauze.

Read also: Russian missiles hit grain hangar in eastern Ukraine

"Everything that’s imported from Russia can be imported from Ukraine. And in this way, we will help Ukraine and not help Russia support its war machine," the Latvian minister added.

He noted that the EU's Common Agricultural Policy needs to be clarified, as a lot has changed since its latest review in 2021, and Europe now has a war on its doorstep. This development changes a lot both in the geopolitical situation and on the market. For instance, Ukraine is now unable to deliver grain to Africa to feed the most vulnerable nations.

"Now we have difficulties on the (Polish) border. We fully support Ukraine. What is happening at the border from the point of view of the European Union is not understandable. We have to ensure there is free goods movement between member states and that we can’t block our borders. (…) We have to adapt quickly and not say ‘we'll think, we will do…' in a couple of years. We have to act quickly," the Latvian government official emphasized.

Read also: Ukraine’s envoy calls on Poland to identify, prosecute provocateurs dumping grain

As reported earlier, the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council is meeting today in Brussels. Multiple tractors have been parked along the streets of the European Quarter in Brussels as farmers demand from the EU a review of the Common Agricultural Policy, in particular, new green standards for farmland use.

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