May 3 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said it is halting the imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia from May 2 until June 5, while the remaining EU member states will continue to import them.
The four agricultural products will continue to transit the five frontline Central and Eastern European (CEE) states to reach other EU markets under the EU's common customs transit procedure, or countries outside the bloc, the Commission said in a press release on Tuesday.
In return for the exceptional and temporary preventive measures on those imports, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have pledged to withdraw their recently imposed unilateral import bans not only on wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed but also on all other agricultural products originating in Ukraine.
"These measures are necessary given the exceptional circumstances of serious logistical bottlenecks experienced in five member states," the Commission noted. It also said that it is ready to reimpose preventive measures after the expiry of the current Autonomous Trade Measures Regulation on June 5 as long as the exceptional situation continues. The regulation was introduced last year in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine to allow trade concessions to Ukraine across the 27-member bloc.
The EU executive also confirmed the disbursement of a financial support package that Commissioner Dombrovskis announced earlier in support of farmers in the five CEE member states. Further measures will be introduced to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain via the so-called "solidarity lanes" to other EU member states and third countries, the Commission added without providing details.
In late April, Bulgaria became the fourth CEE member state to suspend imports of grains and agri-foods from Ukraine.