The European Union (EU) is “doing everything” possible to help farmers in Ukraine, according to the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Janusz Wojciechowski explained that this includes exporting over 20 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine to the EU for storage.
This is essential, he said, to ensure that there is adequate storage capacity in Ukraine ahead of the next harvest.
“There are many actions to help them store the Ukrainian grain in the territory of the European Union.
“This is a very important role of the neighbouring countries; support from Poland and from Romania,” he said.
The commissioner said that Russia must not be allowed to destroy Ukraine’s agricultural industry and “present themselves as a saviour of the world” against hunger.
“We’d like to avoid the situation that Russia, the aggressor – the country which attacked the Ukraine – would be the beneficiary of the situation. It’s their intention to replace the Ukrainian exports,” Wojciechowski told EU News Radio.
Last week, the president of the European Commission accused Russia of weaponising food security and confiscating grain stocks and machinery in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
Ursula von der Leyen told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Russia’s artillery is deliberately bombarding grain houses in Ukraine and its warships are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds.
Commissioner in Ireland
Meanwhile, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development is in Ireland today (Monday, May 30) to attend the World Potato Congress in Dublin.
Janusz Wojciechowski is due to discuss Ireland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue.
Commissioner Wojciechowski will also speak with the national council of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) before visiting an organic vegetable farm in Dublin and a traditional family livestock farm in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath.