EU implements tariffs on imports of Russian, Belarusian grains to curb war financing

(MENAFN) On Thursday, European Union (EU) member countries agreed to impose tariffs on grain imports from Russia in a strategic move to curtail Moscow's revenues, which are being used to finance the ongoing war in Ukraine. This latest decision is part of a series of sanctions the EU has implemented against Russia since the latter's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, aimed at limiting Russia's financial capabilities to sustain the conflict.

EU Trade Commissioner Vladis Dombrovskis announced via social media that this measure specifically targets the export of grain that Russia has unlawfully taken from Ukraine and subsequently sold in EU markets. Additionally, these tariffs will also apply to products originating from Belarus, given that Russia utilized Belarusian territory for launching its attacks on Ukraine.

However, the duties will not affect Russian grains that transit through EU countries on their way to non-EU destinations, ensuring that global food supply chains, especially in other nations, remain unaffected. The European Commission first proposed this measure in March, noting that, under existing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, almost all Russian grain had been exempt from European import duties until now.

Starting July 1, the EU will significantly increase customs duties on grains, oilseeds, and their derivatives from Russia and Belarus. This increase is expected to effectively halt the import of these products into the EU. The Council representing the 27 EU countries confirmed that these measures are designed to prevent any destabilization of the European grain market and to stop the influx of grain that Russia has illegally sourced from Ukrainian territories.

Belgian Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem emphasized that these steps are critical to maintaining stability within the European grain market and to obstructing the flow of illegally obtained Ukrainian grain through Russian exports. 



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