: :inin Kyiv (EET)

EU explains pressure on Ukraine to lifting of moratorium on round timber export and denies manipulation of visa liberalization

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the summit Ukraine-EU in Brussels promised to cansel the moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber. It is a condition for the EU to grant 600 million euros and promise of visa liberalization in a short time.

A lot of Ukrainians outrage of the EU position and call it “visa extortion”.

“The export ban does not prevent deforestation and does not prevent illegal logging and smuggling of timber, because due to this ban such illegal activities become even more profitable,” the EU Delegation to Ukraine wrote on Facebook.

The EU Delegation notes that the current ban on the export fails to achieve its goal to prevent illegal logging.

”It only serves the needs of some stakeholders in the timber industry, enabling them to receive exclusive and unlimited access to forest resources, to personally take advantage of them,” the statement reads.

The EU opposes the current ban on the export of round timber, since it is a restriction of free trade. It is contrary to international obligations of Ukraine within the World Trade Organization and in the framework of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

”Free trade agreements that stimulate economic growth and create jobs for both partners mean equal access to each other`s markets,” the EU Delegation to Ukraine wrote.

The statement also assures that the EU shares concerns of the Ukrainians who care about forests and oppose uncontrolled deforestation, illegal logging and stealing of Ukrainian natural resources.

”You may have noticed that despite the ban on the export of round timber, illegal logging and smuggling of timber continues in Ukraine,” says the EU Delegation.

”We have been working with the Ukrainian authorities to find a solution to the problem, which will be a fair balance between, on the one hand, a fair and equal access to natural resources, promotion of trade, investment and economic development; and, on the other hand, the protection of valuable and unique natural resources of Ukraine,” the statement reads.

See also: Ukraine feels let down by EU with visa deal elusive


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