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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 17.06.2021, 23:11

Lithuania welcomes Ukraine’s decision to terminate fertilizer market probe

BC, Vilnius, 26.06.2020.Print version
Lithuania has welcomed Ukraine’s decision to terminate its fertilizer market probe that was launched in August 2019 and raised concerns for Lithuania’s fertilizer producers and exporters, informs LETA/BNS.

Ukraine stated on Friday that it would not impose any marketing restrictions even though it still planned significant reductions in fertilizer imports for at least three years in mid-May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

“We welcome Ukraine’s decision not to impose any marketing restrictions since it is equitable and rules-based trade, and not protectionist measures, that contributes to the development of bilateral relations,” Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said in a press release.

He emphasized that Ukraine’s intentions to restrict imports of fertilizers were incompatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the provisions of the Association Agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine.

While visiting Vilnius last November, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky assured his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda that Ukraine would next spring complete its fertilizer market probe.

Nauseda then expressed hope that Lithuanian companies would have free access to the Ukrainian fertilizer market.

Lithuanian producers and government officials were concerned that Ukraine's trade protection studies regarding ammonium nitrate and compound fertilizers might lead to the country imposing import duties or quotas, which could have an adverse effect on Ukraine-bound exports by Lithuania's fertilizer manufacturers Lifosa and Achema.

As a result, Lithuanian officials raised this issue in bilateral meetings with Ukrainian officials repeatedly and also asked the European Commission for support.

Ukraine's authorities said that the probe had been launched in the light of increased imports from third countries, but critics believed that the real reason might be the business interests of local oligarchs.

In 2019, Lithuania’s fertilizer exports to Ukraine amounted to 114.6 million euros and accounted for approximately 30 percent of the country’s total fertilizer exports.

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