EU slaps extra duties on Russian and Belarusian food exports

The move mostly affects grains and oilseeds

A Russian military boat guards an area with a grain storage in the background at the Mariupol Sea Port in the territory under the Government of the Donetsk People's Republic control, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, June 12, 2022. (AP Photo)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The Council of the European Union adopted a regulation on May 30 to significantly increase tariffs on imports into the EU of certain products from Russia and Belarus. This follows a proposal put forward by the European Commission on March 22, according to an EC press release.

The measures are designed to eliminate imports into the EU of cereals, oilseeds and derived products, as well as dried peas and beet pulp pellets, without affecting exports to third countries and maintaining global food security. The increased tariffs also apply to Belarus, given the country’s close political and economic ties with Russia.

The new tariffs are designed to prevent destabilization of the EU market and protect the EU farming community, address illegal Ukrainian grain exports mislabelled as Russian, and cut off revenue flows that could fund Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine.

The regulation comes in response to Russia’s role as a global grain exporter and its use of food exports as a geopolitical tool. The EU stands firmly with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and will continue to strongly support Ukraine’s economy, as well as its society, armed forces and future reconstruction. Following adoption by the EU Council, the regulation will enter into force on July 1.

“This measure will ensure that, as of 1 July, Russia cannot destabilize the EU market through redirected grain exports. It will tackle illegal Russian exports of stolen Ukrainian grain products into the EU market, and will prevent Russia from using the revenues from the export of these goods to the EU to fund its aggression against Ukraine,” said European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

“We also had an exchange on what more can be done to step up economic pressure on Russia and deprive it of its resources and revenues. Sweden has initiated a discussion on a broader use of tariffs on imports from Russia. From the European Commission’s side, we will be assessing this and providing Member States with options to move forward.”

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