Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND


EC: ‘no position’ ahead of Ukraine grain ban deadline


The European Commission has “no position” on an extension of the Ukraine grain ban, only five days before it is to due expire.

The ban on selling Ukrainian grain, implemented by five eastern European states, runs out on September 15.

Therefore there is little time left for the EC to resolve its differences with its own Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, who is in favour of an extension.

Central and eastern European countries also want an extension, while Ukraine wants an end to the ban.

Five EU nations, while allowing the grain to be shipped through their territory, want to extend the ban to protect their own farmers. With its ports now blockaded by Russia since the Black Sea Grain Deal collapsed, Ukraine is keen to move and sell as much of its produce as possible.

Speaking to the press, spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer, said that “no position has been taken yet” by the EC on whether the ban should be extended, or what solutions if any should be put forward.

Writing to Brussels Signal, she said: “The position we are taking here is clear. We are seeking a solution which brings the best results for everyone involved.”

While Wojciechowski came out in favour of extending the grain ban – referred to as “the temporary measures” in EU-speak – the EC has not backed him up.

“Commissioner’s Wojciechowski expressed his personal opinion and not the position of the Commission,” Garcia Ferrer confirmed to Brussels Signal.

Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, have prohibited the sale of Ukrainian foodstuffs in their countries after the sheer quantity of its exports began damaging domestic markets and farmers’ livelihoods. They want the ban extended beyond September 15.