14:23 27 Feb 2024

Latvia demands ban on Russian grain export to EU, replacing it with Ukrainian crops

Latvia has legislated to ban Russian grain imports and is urging similar measures and sanctions against Russian exports to the EU at the union level, citing Ukraine as a viable alternative source for agricultural products.

"We ask to extend European sanctions to Russian grain and food products. Latvia has enacted national laws protecting us from Russian imports. This doesn't affect transit to other countries, including other EU states. Since last Thursday, our parliament banned Russian grain and food imports," said Armands Krauze, Latvia's Agriculture Minister, Rubryka reports.

"Everything imported from Russia can be sourced from Ukraine. This way, we support Ukraine and don't help Russia fuel its war machine," he added.

Krauze highlighted the need for clarification in the EU's Common Agricultural Policy due to significant changes since its last review in 2021, especially with Europe facing an impending war.

This development alters both the geopolitical situation and the market significantly. For instance, Ukraine can't deliver grain to Africa, where countries urgently need it.

"We're facing difficulties at the (Polish) border now. We fully support Ukraine. From the EU perspective, what's happening at the border is incomprehensible. We must ensure the free movement of goods within EU countries and avoid blocked borders. We must adapt quickly and not delay action," said the Latvian minister.

As reported, on February 26, the EU's Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers met in Brussels. The European Quarter streets in Brussels were blocked by tractors as European farmers demanded a review of the Common Agricultural Policy, particularly new "green" land-use standards.

Earlier, Rubryka reported that Latvia's ruling coalition had agreed to ban grain imports from Russia and Belarus to Latvia.

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