EU to Set up Special Trade Routes to Ukraine

The European Commission said it is ready to set up special trading routes between Poland and Ukraine to make sure food products and live animals amid the ongoing conflict.

Ukraine has asked Brussels to establish so-called green corridors to secure and ease trade flows of agri-food goods after Russian attacks cut off most of its own extensive food exports from Black Sea ports.

Janusz Wojciechowski, Poland’s Agriculture Commissioner, said that the European Commission is ready to organize the green corridors, as this would enable Ukraine to export food via the Baltic sea.

Wojciechowski compared the plan to what was set up during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic when the EU waived some checks on goods because logistical difficulties had caused temporary food shortages in some parts of the EU. 

“I discussed this with the Polish prime minister [Mateusz Morawiecki] and everything will be done to support Ukraine,” Wojciechowski said.

Wojciechowski also stated that the first priority should remain to help the refugees fleeing Ukraine. 

Wojciechowski acknowledged that all trade would be ‘high risk’ due to the recent Russian bombing not far from the Polish border.

The Commission’s official food response to the conflict released last Wednesday did not include explicit mention of establishing green corridors.

Ukraine’s former Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko had asked the EU to set up green corridors during an appearance at the European Parliament the day before he resigned. 

Wojciechowski stressed the significance of keeping the international food trade flowing and avoiding the urge to apply protectionist measures, echoing the attitude stated by G7 leaders late last week.

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