Ukraine could limit imports of cheese from the European Union (EU) over almost doubled increase in supplies of cheese in 2019 and due to growth of smuggling, Deputy Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Minister of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, who is also the Trade Representative of Ukraine, has said.
“I’m very annoyed by the situation with the sharp increase in imports of cheeses and generally dairy products from the EU to Ukraine, even smuggling… To stop this, we can take very brutal steps. For example, safeguard measures against the import of cheeses into Ukraine,” Kachka said in an interview with Yevropeiska Pravda (European Truth) ezine.
He said that the sharp increase in imports of these products negatively affects Ukrainian producers.
“If our manufacturers make such a request, it is very likely [that such a scenario will be implemented],” the trade representative said.
“But this is a negative scenario, which can be avoided through greater coordination and greater support for each other. This coordination is much more important to me now in relations with the EU than the revision of tariff quotas,” he said.
The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have addressed the European Union together regarding the importance of support for the Eastern Partnership, according to the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine.
“On the margins of the Munich Security Conference the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have signed a joint letter to the Members of the European Commission regarding importance of relevant financial support for the Eastern Partnership in the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 that is currently being shaped by the EU institutions,” reads the statement.
The ministers called on the EU to take into account within its strategic budgetary planning for the next seven years the scale and ambitions of the reforms, which are being implemented and planned by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in the process of their European integration.
“The joint address of the Ministers is another sign of unity of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in their approaches to future development of the Eastern Partnership, based on the differentiation principle, as well as to the idea of enhanced dialogue in the EU+3 Associated Partners format,” reads the statement.
The timely reaction to the avian influenza outbreak in Ukraine allowed the country not to halt imports of poultry from the European Union (EU) and Ukrainian counts on uninterrupted authorization to export Ukrainian poultry to the EU, Deputy Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Minister, Ukraine’s Trade Representative Taras Kachka has said. “Over the past month, a number of EU Member States have recorded cases of avian influenza. But a timely decision on zoning and a well-functioning communication mechanism allowed Ukraine to not stop the import of poultry meat from the EU for this reason. Therefore, we immediately informed the competent authorities of the EU about the detected case of bird flu in Vinnytsia region,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday.
In addition, Ukraine has suspended certification of exporter capacity in a 30 km zone, while the EU sets requirements for the 10 km zone.
“All these measures are being taken to prove to the whole world that trust allows us to maintain trade in such sensitive situations,” Kachka said.
The deputy minister expects that in such conditions the EU will retain a permit for the import of poultry meat from Ukraine.
“If we were hostile to each other, the EU would have taken this opportunity and tried to close imports from Ukraine in general. This would trigger a chain mechanism of mutual restrictions. (Both sides want to avoid this scenario). In the meantime, we are actively cooperating with EU regulatory authorities so that the reaction is friendly and adequate,” Kachka said.
Ukraine delivered 248 tonnes of snails of its own production onto the European market in January-September 2019, while shipments of snails to the EU in the 12 months of 2018 totaled a mere 93 tonnes. The number of domestic enterprises eligible to supply snail products onto the EU market has increased over two years, the Ukrainian government said on its website on Wednesday.
“According to the results of the third quarter of this year, 17 enterprises received such license. In 2018, there were only five of them,” the Cabinet said.
The European Union has launched a project entitled “Support to Ukraine for Developing a Modern Public Health System” on December 12, the Public Health Center (PHC) reported. The project will help the government to implement public health reform in line with its obligations under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, reads the statement on the website of the PHC.
The experts will consult the Health Ministry of Ukraine, the PHC and the regional public health centers, help to draw up laws and regulations, analyze and implement the EU practices.
According to the statement, the project is aimed at streamlining the public health system in Ukraine with the EU practices, creating a sustainable epidemiology surveillance system to control contagious and non-contagious diseases and introducing the International Health Regulations to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease.
In addition, the project will provide support for reform of the blood donation service in Ukraine via the development of a modern blood safety system in line with the EU standards. The project will also help to improve the quality control system, create donor registers and unified standards for blood transfusion, promote voluntary blood donation and establish an independent competent agency in the sphere of blood safety.
The EU project “Support to Ukraine for Developing a Modern Public Health System” will be implemented from 2019 until 2022 by the GFA Consulting Group GmbH (GFA) in consortium with the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland (THL). The budget of the project is EUR 3 million.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has amended the Action Plan on Implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the press service of the Ukrainian government reported. “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution amending the Action Plan on Implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The updated plan takes into account the deepening of the Ukraine-EU bilateral relations and a series of decisions adopted by the bilateral bodies of the Association Agreement in recent years,” reads the statement.
The amended document actualizes, aligns and streamlines the objectives with the dynamically evolving EU legislation. The updated tasks are related to customs and financial policy; taxation, entrepreneurship, financial services and competition; justice, social and humanitarian issues; transport; energy economy and energy efficiency; digital sphere, science, technology and innovation; nature management and others.
It is expected that the government’s decision will accelerate Ukraine’s advancement towards the EU and make this process more transparent.