Ukrainian PM welcomes interim EU deal on farm imports

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 3:24 AM

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal welcomed an interim EU deal on farm imports as “good news” on Wednesday, saying it would allow Ukraine to support its producers and maintain its export levels.

The provisional agreement would grant Ukrainian food producers tariff-free access to EU markets until June 2025, with new limits imposed on some product groups following months of protests from EU farmers over environmental regulations and cheap imports.

Shmyhal, who is visiting Brussels, expects the arrangements to be agreed by the European Parliament next month, he wrote in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

“This ‘economic visa-free regime’ will allow us to maintain the dynamics of our exports, support Ukrainian producers and strengthen the foundation for further integration into the EU single market,” he wrote.

Negotiators for the European Parliament and Belgian EU presidency capped imports of Ukrainian oats, maize, groats and honey using a limit based on average 2022 and 2023 levels.

The European Commission in January proposed adding an “emergency break” on poultry, eggs and sugar imports, leading to tariffs if imported amounts exceed the average levels of 2022 and 2023.

Ukrainian officials declined to comment on those possible import curbs.

(Reporting by Anastasiia Malenko; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)