EU 100M euro aid conditional on Bulgaria, four others, lifting bans on Ukrainian food imports

The 100 million euro second package of aid proposed by the European Commission for farmers in countries affected by imports of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs is subject to Bulgaria and other EU countries imposing or considering bans on these imports lifting those bans.

This is clear from a statement by European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski and European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis following their meetings on April 19 with representatives of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania.

As The Sofia Globe reported on April 19, Bulgaria’s caretaker government appointed by President Roumen has decided to impose a ban on imports of numerous foodstuffs from Ukraine, to be in effect from April 24 to June 30 2023.

The move follows similar ones by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, while Romania reportedly is considering restrictions on foodstuffs imports from Ukraine.

The joint statement by Wojciechowski and Dombrovskis said that they had presented the EU’s comprehensive proposals to address the concerns expressed by these five member states regarding the deterioration in the situation of European Union producers for specific products.

The package proposed by the European Commission includes a second tranche of agricultural financial support to affected farmers, exceptional safeguard measures on key products and measures to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain exports via the Solidarity Lanes.

“The Commission’s proposed package is subject to member states lifting their unilateral measures,” Wojciechowski and Dombrovskis said.

“We underlined the importance of rapidly following a common EU approach, rather than unilateral solutions to avoid multiple bans and solutions which put the internal market at risk. 

“The Commission took note of the views presented by participants. We agreed to continue political consultations in the coming days in view of a swift solution,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, on April 20, Bulgaria’s caretaker Economy Minister told local television station Nova Televizia in an interview that the caretaker government was “ready to react immediately and allow these imports again” if wholesale food prices go up after the ban on food imports from Ukraine comes into effect.

(Photo: Christa Richert/

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