Compensation due to the import of Ukrainian grain will be conditional on the lifting of its ban

Compensations due to the import of Ukrainian grain will be conditional upon the cancellation of his ban

Illustrative photo – Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) spoke at a briefing after a meeting with representatives of the Agrarian Chamber, the Food Chamber and the Trade and Tourism Association (SOCR), February 27, 2023, Prague.

Prague – The European Commission's condition for paying compensation to countries affected by the increased import of Ukrainian grain will be the lifting of unilateral bans on its import. Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) said this at the meeting of the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee today, who took part in the meeting of the European Union's agriculture ministers on Tuesday.

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The minister repeated that the Czech Republic does not agree with the bans. According to him, it is clear that a number of entities in Poland profit from trading in Ukrainian grain and that the situation regarding bans is also influenced by the internal political situation in both Poland and Slovakia. Today, the House Agriculture Committee voted a resolution that it does not support the introduction of unilateral bans on imports from Ukraine. Ten of the 11 deputies present were in favor, while Oldřich Černý from the SPD was against.

After Tuesday's meeting with EU agriculture ministers and European Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, Nekula said that within two months the commission could come with help for some states, including the Czech Republic, which are indirectly affected by problems with the import of Ukrainian grain. A number of ministers from the member countries are demanding a joint solution.

The minister noted that there was already talk in Poland about the import of Ukrainian grain last June. He drew attention to the fact that, according to him, panic arose in Slovakia due to the case of finding a pesticide in one of the Ukrainian shipments of grain. According to Nekula, the Slovak Minister of Agriculture, Samuel Vlčan, was also surprised at the uproar this had caused in the Czech Republic during mutual negotiations.

Director of the State Agricultural and Food Inspection Martin Klanica told the committee that the detection of pesticides in a sample from Ukraine in Slovakia it was just above the detection threshold. “It turned out that the flour made from that grain was fine,” the inspection chief said. According to him, the pressure to check products is considerable. However, some things that are based on misinformation are difficult to explain, stated Klanica, adding that the inspection also tests grain supplies from other EU states, where grain can be mixed with Ukrainian supplies.