Bulgaria will no longer block imports of Ukrainian grain after current restrictions expire this Friday.
The national parliament voted 124 to 69 Thursday in favor of a resolution to lift a ban on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine imposed earlier this year by the European Commission at the request of Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said on Wednesday that lifting the ban on imports from Ukraine would be desirable because it would lower the price of basic foodstuffs. He said the government would ask the Commission for financial compensation for farmers and to improve infrastructure.
The Parliament’s resolution states that, in view of Bulgaria’s solidarity with Ukraine and the need to supply agricultural products for global food security, the country does not support the extension beyond September 15.
Of the five countries subject to the restrictions, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have said they will impose unilateral bans if the Commission doesn’t extend them.
Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev, who has been advocating for the restrictions to be extended, said he would comply with the decision. He said that Bulgaria will increase border controls of Ukrainian produce, including checking for the presence of radioactive and heavy metals.