site.btaAgriculture Minister: Bulgaria Giving Up Ban on Imports from Ukraine Is "Not So Worrying"
Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril Vatev told parliament here on Thursday that he agreed with macroeconomic indicators shown to the Council of Ministers, according to which the notion of Bulgaria giving up its demand to continue the ban on imports from Ukraine is "not so worrying".
On Thursday, Parliament is voting on Bulgaria's position on the extension of preventive measures on certain products originating from Ukraine beyond September 15, 2023, which was adopted by the parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation on Tuesday.
Vatev stressed that the matter of food imports from Ukraine has already been under discussion for a long time not only in Bulgaria but also at meetings of EU agriculture ministers. Concerns on the part of farmers are great, because Ukraine is a powerful agricultural country with huge volumes, but the legitimate concern is that the country is not meeting the high-quality standards imposed by the EU in the production of agricultural produce.
The Minister said that, given the fact that Ukraine is at war and the whole EU is supporting it, Bulgaria is also making every effort in this direction, with solidarity corridors in place, with corridors to the Greek ports of Kavala and Thessaloniki secured.
Vatev referred to the five EU Member states (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), whose concerns led to the European Commission extending the ban on import of wheat, maize, rape and sunflower from Ukraine by three months until September 15, 2023. The Minister said he supported his ban during the last four meetings of the Council of Minister, however, during the last fifth meeting, macroeconomic indicators were put forward, which could help identify measures to support Bulgarian farmers, where problems arise.
Vatev stated that dumping already takes place, as Ukrainian powdered milk and sunflower are imported here through Romania as Romanian.
The Minister said that among the measures that will be implemented is increasing the control on all imported Ukrainian goods, especially cereals, and strictly controlling the presence of radioactivity and heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides.
A meeting with Bulgarian grain farmers will be held on Saturday to address their concerns and questions.