Ambassador explained Ukrainian tough reaction to Moldovan decision on lifting grain imports

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The diplomat commented on the situation around the import of Ukrainian grain, which caused discontent among Moldovan farmers. Earlier, Chisinau decided to limit imports. In response, Kyiv threatened to ban all Moldovan exports to Ukraine. Shortly thereafter, the Moldovan authorities changed their mind. “I participated in the negotiations between the relevant ministers of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and I would say that I understood that the concerns of Moldovan farmers are based on insufficient information, because Ukrainian exports to the Republic of Moldova are very small and insignificant compared to the volume of domestic production. We declared that we are ready for very close cooperation in terms of exchanging information on how many tons of grain entered the Republic of Moldova, how much went to Romania and the port on the Danube, so that the Moldovan side is sure that tons of Ukrainian grain do not remain in the Republic of Moldova,” Marko Shevchenko said. The diplomat said that this week the officials of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine will hold a new round of negotiations and tackle this issue. “I think everything will be fine. In our opinion, the concerns of farmers in the Republic of Moldova are based not on facts, but on emotions. For us, a possible negative decision by Moldova would be very difficult, because it would set a precedent with non-EU countries. Moldova is outside the EU and does not have such obligations to allow transit. That’s why Ukraine reacted so harshly, because we had concern that if such a decision were made, a precedent for other countries would be created,” Marko Shevchenko said. According to him, Ukraine’s proposal was to seal containers with grain, so that later the seals would be checked when leaving the Republic of Moldova, while Kyiv and Chisinau cooperated very closely and all transit was tracked both at the entrance and at the exit. Earlier, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Vladimir Bolea said that the ban on grain imports from Ukraine would not solve the problems of Moldovan farmers, but would bring more challenges. According to him, the application of the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain will entail bans by the Kyiv authorities on the export of fruits and vegetables from the Republic of Moldova.