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Mar 21, 2023
EU Opens Crisis Fund for Nations Under Influx of Ukraine Crops
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is activating a crisis reserve for farmers in three eastern nations handling an influx of Ukrainian crops that’s lowering local prices.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, will provide €56 million ($60 million) to Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski told reporters in Brussels late Monday. Three of Ukraine’s major Black Sea ports reopened to grain exports last year, but seaborne trade remains slower than normal, forcing farmers to continue routing crops via EU neighbors.
“This is support for the countries with farmers affected by the increase of import from Ukraine,” he said. “We observe an increase of supply, a huge increase of import for the bordering countries.”
Read more: Race Against Food Inflation Starts on Rusty Soviet Rail Tracks
The decision was triggered for Bulgaria and Poland as the combination of their own production and imports from Ukraine exceeded a five-year average before Russia’s war in Ukraine. Romania was added due to its hub position for the so-called solidarity lanes, the commissioner said.
Romania will receive €10 million, Bulgaria about €17 million and Poland €30 million. The amount can be doubled through co-financing from the budgets of the member states.
Hungary and Slovakia have also had more Ukrainian crops coming in. But they will not receive support from the fund as their combined volumes of production and import do not exceed the five-year average, Wojciechowski said.
--With assistance from Megan Durisin.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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