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EU to cap imports of Ukrainian poultry and grains to appease farmers


EU member states and lawmakers on Wednesday reached a deal to cap duty-free imports of some Ukrainian grains, which were allowed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict but have drawn fierce protests from farmers in the bloc.

The agreement renews the tariff exemption granted in 2022 for one year but adds oats, eggs, poultry, and sugar to the list of products with import "safeguards," preventing cheap imports from flooding the market.

Wheat and barley will not be added to the safeguard list.

The regulation "provides for an emergency brake for poultry, eggs and sugar," as well as "oats, maize, groats (a grain with its outer shell removed) and honey," the European Parliament said in a press release.

The 27-nation bloc dropped tariffs on Ukrainian imports in a bid to help keep Ukraine's economy afloat after Russia launched a "special military operation."

Two years into the conflict, EU farmers complain they are being undercut by cheaper imports from Ukrainian producers who are not bound by stricter EU rules – for example, on animal welfare – with the issue fueling angry protests across the bloc.

(Cover: A Polish farmer walks past the flag of the European Union that is attached to a symbolic coffin of the Polish farmers as they block a border crossing with Slovakia for the second day near Barwinek, Poland, February 27, 2024. /CFP)

Source(s): AFP
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