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Media: EU to propose restrictions on Russian, Belarusian grain imports

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 13, 2024 11:43 PM 2 min read
Latvian farmers with signs that read "Against Russian grain products" demonstrate against the import of Russian and Belarusian grain in Jelgava, Latvia, on Feb. 5, 2024. (Gints Ivuskans/AFP via Getty Images)
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The European Commission will present a proposal next week on restricting Russian and Belarusian agricultural imports, Polish news outlet RMF24 reported on March 13, citing an anonymous EU diplomat.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk recently discussed how the EU could impose sanctions on Russian and Belarusian agricultural products and foodstuffs with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Warsaw has complained about the influx of grain from these two countries, as well as from Ukraine.

According to RMF24, the restrictions would only apply to imports into the EU, not agricultural goods transiting through the EU to other countries.

This is due to fears that a total ban could cause prices to rise worldwide, which would impact poorer countries.

Data from Eurostat shows that EU imports of Russian grain went from 970,000 metric tons in 2022 to more than 1.5 million in 2023.

Ausrys Macijauskas, the head of the Lithuanian Association of Grain Growers, said on March 5 that Russian grain is driving down prices across the European bloc in a deliberate move by Moscow to destabilize the markets.

So far, only Latvia has implemented a ban on imports of foodstuffs from Russia and Belarus. Latvia's Agriculture Minister Armands Krauze said shortly before the law came into force in early March that the measure is "not effective" without an EU-wide ban.

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