11.05.2023 10:40

European grain restrictions are "absolutely unacceptable," Zelenskyy says

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11.05.2023 10:40

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, calls on neighbouring countries and the states of the European Union to refrain from any decisions regarding trade with Ukraine without consulting it.

"We discussed (with the president of the European Commission - ed.) the situation regarding the export of our agricultural products. We have a common agreement about our Ukrainian contribution to global food security... Unfortunately, we have encountered problems where we should have continued to see strong signs of solidarity, in proportion to the threats that exist today — tough and even brutal, for wartime, protectionist measures (regarding trade - ed.) from our neighbours disappoint us," Zelenskyy said at a joint news conference in Kyiv with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

As the president emphasized, any restrictions on Ukrainian exports now are absolutely unacceptable because they do not strengthen all of us in Europe, instead they strengthen the aggressor's capabilities.

In this regard, Zelenskyy proposed the creation of an advisory group with neighbouring countries and EU states to monitor problematic issues in trade.

"We propose to establish an advisory group to monitor relevant problematic issues and refrain from any trade decisions without consulting Ukraine," he said.

The head of state also said that he expects strong decisions from the European Union and the removal of all trade restrictions as soon as possible.

"If there is a political will," he noted, "and our negotiations today show that there is such a will. We will be able to find optimal, correct and strong solutions that will protect the interests of both Europe and the Ukrainians who are suffering, in addition to the war, also from the export restrictions applied against us".

In turn, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed the creation in the future of such an advisory group on the export of products from Ukraine, in particular, Ukrainian grain.

"The grain topic is a challenging situation. And we need to find a way to solve it. The immediate priority now is that the grain transit goes seamlessly and at the lowest possible cost outside of Ukraine towards the European Union. And this requires close cooperation of all interested parties, so we will create a joint coordination platform within which we will ensure our elements of solidarity are fully functioning again," she said.

Photo - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 9. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

IC UAC according to Interfax-Ukraine


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