Staunch critic of Russia continues grain acquisitions

(MENAFN) Lithuania, known for its staunch criticism of Russia, has recently resumed grain purchases from its eastern neighbor after a hiatus, importing over 12,000 metric tons of grain in February, with a value of approximately USD2 million, as reported by RIA Novosti on Wednesday, citing statistical data.

The Baltic nation halted regular grain imports from Russia back in May 2023, with the last delivery received in July of that year. However, despite its vocal opposition to Russian policies, Lithuania, along with Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic, advocated for a full ban on grain imports from Russia and Belarus to the European Commission in March 2024, citing concerns related to the Ukraine conflict.

Interestingly, while calling for a ban, Latvia has also seen an increase in its imports of Russian grain, purchasing 58,800 tons in February, compared to 52,600 tons the previous month. Riga, another vocal critic of Russia, has notably ramped up its agricultural imports from Russia by nearly 40 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024.

Despite individual actions taken by European Union member states, such as Latvia's unilateral ban on food imports from Russia and Belarus in February, and Lithuania's announcement of strict cargo inspections, collective European Union purchases of Russian grain in February amounted to 92,600 tons, valued at almost EUR17 million.

The European Union's stance on Russian grain imports may be shifting, as media reports have indicated that the bloc is considering imposing tariffs of up to 50 percent on grain imports from Russia and Belarus. This move comes amid pressure from protesting farmers and certain member states within the European Union.



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