EU hikes tariffs on Russian and Belarusian grain EU ministers have agreed to introduce “prohibitive” tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus from July 1 Read Full Article at RT.com

Increasing duties on cereals, oilseeds and derived products is aimed at halting imports, according to the European Council 

The EU has adopted a regulation to hike import tariffs on Russian and Belarusian grain, according to a statement by the European Council, as the bloc continues to pile sanctions on Moscow and its allies over the Ukraine conflict.

The “prohibitive” levies, which will take effect on July 1, will apply to cereals, oilseeds and derived products, as well as beet-pulp pellets and dried peas from both nations, the EU said in a statement on Thursday, stressing that the new regulation hikes the tariffs to such a level that will “halt imports of these products.”

“In addition, those goods will be barred from access to the Union’s tariff rate quotas,” the press release reads, adding that the regulation will not affect transit through the EU from Russia and Belarus to third nations.

The measure will prevent the “destabilization” of the bloc’s grain market and curb the revenues Moscow receives through agricultural exports, EU ministers claimed.

The proposal for tariffs was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in March. At the time, she said that the move would help to mitigate the “growing risk” to EU markets and farmers.

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Russia comments on proposed EU grain tariffs

The latest statement does not disclose how large the tariffs will be. In March, the Financial Times reported that the levy would amount to an increase of $95 euros ($100) per ton for cereals, and to 50% of the value for oilseeds and derived products.

Commenting on the proposal at the time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that imposing tariffs on Russia grain is an example of “unfair competition,” arguing that if adopted, the measure will hit EU consumers, while Moscow will use alternative supply routes.

Russia, the world’s largest grain exporter, sold 60 million tons of grains in the agricultural year of 2022-2023, marking a record high, according to the Agriculture Ministry, which added that most of those volumes were supplied to friendly countries. Last year, Russia exported 4.2 million tons of cereals, oilseeds, and derived products to the EU, worth €1.3 billion, while Belarus supplied some 610,000 tons, with a value of €246 million.

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