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Lithuanian farmers say they have problems with Russian grain, not Ukrainian

Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 09:35
Lithuanian farmers say they have problems with Russian grain, not Ukrainian
Stock photo: Getty Images

Amid a partial blockade of farmers on the Polish-Lithuanian border over Ukrainian grain, Lithuanian farmers say they are more concerned about imports of Russian grain.

Source: European Pravda; Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT

Details: Since Friday, Polish farmers have been partially blocking the main motorway at the former border checkpoint between Poland and Lithuania and checking lorries, citing concerns that some Ukrainian grain imported to Lithuania is being returned to Poland.


However, Lithuanian farmers say that their biggest problem is not Ukrainian but Russian grain, which is entering the EU in huge quantities.

"These are impressive figures, with over 3 million tonnes of Russian grain having passed through Latvia and Lithuania combined in 2023. In total, 12 million tonnes of Russian grain were imported into the EU market last year," said Aušrys Macijauskas, head of the Lithuanian Association of Grain Growers.

Macijauskas said Russian grain is pushing down prices across the EU: Russians are deliberately dumping it to create chaos in the agricultural sector. However, the European Commission has the tools to end this.

"There is a regulation that allows the EU to intervene in the market in an emergency situation and start buying food products, the prices of which are falling drastically," Macijauskas said.

According to grain processors, about 50,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain were imported to Lithuania last year, much less than in the pre-war period. Processors, as well as grain producers, emphasise that the real problem is Russian grain.

The Latvian parliament has temporarily banned imports of agricultural products from Russia and Belarus until at least July 2025. But even this step has made little difference, processors say.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said yesterday that he supported proposals to ban imports of Russian grain.

Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk promised to appeal to the Polish Sejm regarding the introduction of sanctions against Russian and Belarusian agricultural products.

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