Bulgaria’s Parliament votes to cancel ban on import of various foodstuffs from Ukraine

Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on September 14 that the ban on the import of various foodstuffs from Ukraine should not be extended beyond September 15.

The vote, with 124 in favour, 69 against and five abstentions, followed two hours of debate.

The ban on the import from Ukraine of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds into Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia was introduced by the EU in response to protests from farmers in these countries because of the competition from the lower-priced foodstuffs.

Parliament requires the Bulgarian government to express the position that it has taken.

The move already has been supported by the government, which has said that removing the ban would reduce prices of basic foodstuffs and reduce inflation.

Finance Minister Assen Vassilev has said that the ban, which was backed by a caretaker government appointed by President Roumen Radev, resulted in the loss of 146 million leva in revenue from VAT.

Speaking at the start of debate, Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev said that he had been persuaded by the macroeconomic indicators presented to the Cabinet that showed that it was not a matter of concern for the ban to be scrapped.

Vatev said that measures to control all Ukrainian goods, especially cereals, had been stepped up, with strict checks for the presence of radioactivity, heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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