Ukraine has filed lawsuits against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization over their decision to ban grain imports, in a row that has split the EU and could hurt Kyiv’s prospects of joining the bloc.
“It is fundamentally important for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban the import of Ukrainian goods. That is why we are filing lawsuits against them in the WTO,” First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliya Svyridenko said in a statement.
Svyridenko added that the lawsuits, together with pressure from the European Commission and other member states, “will help restore normal trade between Ukraine and neighboring countries, as well as show solidarity between us.”
The decision comes after the three countries rebelled against a European Commission decision last Friday to end temporary import restrictions — implemented in the spring in an attempt to mitigate a supply glut — and once again allow Ukrainian grain sales across the EU.
The bans by the three central European countries are intended to protect their farmers from a surge in exports from grain superpower Ukraine, following Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
“We hope that these states will lift their restrictions and we will not have to clarify the relationship in the courts for a long time,” Svyridenko said.