Ukrainian Agricultural Confederation: engaging in an argument with your neighbor regarding grain is not worth the effort

The President of the Ukrainian Agricultural Confederation, Leonid Kozachenko, pointed out in an interview with Vot Tak, the Russian-language service of Belsat, that the export of Ukrainian grain to neighboring countries is very low. He also suggests that disputing and challenging the decisions of Warsaw and other countries trying to protect their markets could harm their relations with Kyiv.

Leonid Kozachenko emphasizes that in 2019, Ukraine set a new record for deliveries to five countries that have banned the import of part of Ukrainian agricultural production, including grain, at the moment. However, the total amount of agricultural exports to these EU countries only amounted to 617 thousand tons, which is just 0.5 percent of Ukraine’s total grain exports of 60 million tons that year. 

– It is not a good deal for us. We are fighting with these countries to gain transit access, added Kozachenko.

In this regard, Ukrainian agricultural sector organizations sent a letter to President Volodymyr Zelensky requesting to refrain from filing lawsuits against countries that have prohibited imports.

– These countries assist us in various ways. We know that the main problem today is war. However, all of them help us fight the enemy, the occupier. It is unnecessary to look for a solution in courts, he emphasized.

At the same time, Leonid Kozachenko admits that violations may have occurred during the transit of grain.

– Patterns like that were happening in the past when Polish and Ukrainian companies established logistics and transshipment centers in Poland to transport grain to the internal market, he added.

In his opinion, it was not worth the risk because it could adversely affect Ukrainian agricultural transit, which is much more critical for Ukrainian producers. Therefore, Kyiv presented their proposals.

– We have proposed a digital platform that allows control of every grain that falls on their soil so that they can pick it up and transport it to other countries. They are not interested in this solution. We have proposed options for sealing traveling wagons, cars, containers, and more to prevent fears of trading grains on their territory – stated Kozachenko.

The President of the Ukrainian Agricultural Confederation declared that talks on this topic will continue as solving this issue is crucial for Ukraine’s future membership in the European Union.

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Translated by PEV