BRUSSELS, September 19. /TASS/. The unilateral extension by Hungary, Poland and Slovakia of the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products amid the European Commission’s refusal to extend this embargo has become the first test in the context of the community's readiness for Ukraine’s EU membership, the Politico newspaper's European edition reported citing sources.
An EU official said that the grain issue turned out to be the "first test" of EU member states' readiness to accept Ukraine into the union. According to Politico observers, more and more members of the European Union are beginning to realize that accepting a country with a population of more than 40 million destroyed by military operations "means the EU itself will have to change." In particular, if Ukraine joins the bloc, it will become the largest beneficiary of EU agricultural subsidies, which will require a revision of the community's general agricultural policy.
According to the newspaper, the bloc's countries are even more concerned about the potential costs "of reconstruction, regional aid and the need to reform the EU’s internal processes." In their attempts to reach a common denominator on all these issues, "EU's existing member states stand to lose power and money to Ukraine," the authors note. At this point, they wonder how long EU countries will continue to support Kiev while their governments find themselves under increasing economic pressure at the domestic political level due to the struggle for the electorate, as in Poland. In observers' opinion, the question "will only become sharper as Ukraine, an agricultural powerhouse, seeks to become a fully fledged member of the EU."
Earlier, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko said that the Ukrainian authorities had filed lawsuits with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, which banned imports of its agricultural products.
Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have decided to stop contributing to the work of the European Commission's coordination platform on Ukrainian grain supplies in response to Ukraine's threats to complain to the WTO over the embargo imposed by these countries. The platform was attended by representatives of the EC, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Amid the EC's refusal to extend the embargo after September 15, Budapest, Bratislava and Warsaw extended the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products at the national level.