Latvia voted to ban Russian grain imports. Now it wants the EU to do the same, replacing Russian grain with Ukrainian.

“Everything that’s imported from Russia can be imported from Ukraine. And in this way, we will help Ukraine and not help Russia support its war machine,” the Latvian Minister of Agriculture Armands Krauze told Ukrinform in Brussels at the doorstep of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday.

Meanwhile, while Russian grain is apparently still being sold in the EU, Polish farmers have been filmed dumping out Ukrainian grain at the border in protest of increased competition.

“We are still asking to put Russian grains and food under the sanctions,” Krauze said. “Latvia adopted a national law regarding the import from Russia into the Republic of Latvia. This does not affect transit to third countries, including other EU countries. But, since last Thursday, our parliament passed a ban on Russian grain and foodstuff imports to the Republic of Latvia.”

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Krauze told Ukrinform that the EU's Common Agricultural Policy needs to be updated, as much has changed since its last review back in 2021, such as a war in Europe, right at the EU’s doorstep.

The war changes both geopolitics and markets, Krauze said. For example, Ukraine is being impeded from delivering grain to Africa to feed the most vulnerable nations.

“Now we have difficulties on the (Polish) border. We fully support Ukraine. What is happening at the border from the point of view of the European Union is not understandable. We have to ensure there is the free movement of goods between member states and that we can’t block our borders,” he said. “We have to act quickly.”

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The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council had a meeting scheduled in Brussels on Monday.

As Ukrinform reported, multiple tractors were parked along the streets of the European Quarter in Brussels as farmers demanded a review of the Common Agricultural Policy, in particular, new sustainability standards for farmland use.

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Comments (2)

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David
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It is unbelievable that the EU is importing grain from Russia and at the same time spilling Ukraine grain on the ground at the Polish Border. I am in full agreement with Latvia on this issue. Ban all Russian imports and substitute Ukrainian. Farmers across the EU are involved in protests. Is this a malaise in the EU generally? Farmers have a hard life. Don't make it any harder, especially for Ukraine.

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John
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As it should be. All allied nations should immediately stop all unsanctioned russian imports / exports when clearly allied option's exist.

Latvia at 1.72% GDP contribution is second only to amazing Estonia (4.14% GDP), out of 75 nations supporting Ukraine. As a reference the USA is in 32nd place with its 0.32% GDP support; much of that actually returning back into the USA economy in the form of manufacturing revenue.

The brunt of other smaller allied nations have to first buy their weapons at a mark-up from another larger countries before they can then donate to Ukraine, so their donations represent a true 'hair cut' to their economies.

Still it is the right thing to do, and the cost of doing nothing is well known particularly to the eastern most EU nations.

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