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EU ambassadors agree on 'new compromise' regarding extension of Ukraine trade deal

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 27, 2024 7:33 PM 1 min read
The flag of Ukraine and the flag of the EU in Berlin, Germany on April 24, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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EU ambassadors "agreed on a new compromise" regarding the extension of the trade agreement with Ukraine, ensuring a "balanced approach between support for Ukraine and protection of EU agricultural markets," the Belgian presidency of the EU Council announced on March 27.

"This compromise will now be presented to (the European Parliament) in view of a swift agreement," the presidency wrote on X.

The EU introduced a free trade agreement for Ukraine to overcome export restrictions following Russia's full-scale invasion and the blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports in 2022. Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia became alternative export routes, agitating local farmers.

Polish farmers are currently blocking several crossings with Ukraine in protest to Ukrainian agricultural imports, claiming their Ukrainian competitors are running them out of business.

The International Trade Committee on March 7 supported the European Commission's proposal to again extend the trade agreement from June 2024 until June 2025 while introducing an "emergency brake" in case the import of Ukrainian poultry, sugar, and eggs exceeds the levels from 2022 and 2023.

A week later, the European Parliament returned the proposal with new amendments designed to reinforce "safeguards for EU farmers in case of a surge in Ukrainian products," leaving the matter up for further discussion between the committee and the EU Council.

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