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Russia’s victory day (Telegraph debate)

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Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday hit out at a “cruel” European Union export ban on Ukrainian grains to five member states, reports Joe Barnes.

The Ukrainian president said the embargo only helps Russia as it wages an illegal invasion of his country after talks with European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen.

“Protectionist measures from our neighbours cannot but disappoint, softly speaking,” Mr Zelensky told a news conference in Kyiv.

“All restrictions on our exports are completely unacceptable right now. They only reinforce the abilities of the aggressor.”

He added: «We are waiting for the EU to stop all restrictions as fast as possible.”

His rant came after Brussels signed off on allowing Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania to ban imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed from Ukraine.

The Eastern European nations’ leaders had complained cheap Ukrainian imports were undercutting farmers producing the same grains domestically.

Mrs von der Leyen described the situation as “difficult”, but vowed to assist Ukraine in exporting its agricultural products.

“The immediate priority now is that the grain transit goes seamlessly and at the lowest possible cost outside from Ukraine towards the European Union,» she told Mr Zelensky.

“This requires very close cooperation of the different stakeholders. Therefore, we will jointly set up a coordination platform.»


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