Ukraine's forests or European money?: EU links financial assistance for Ukraine to lifting ban on timber exports

14:44 Nov. 25, 2016

EU links financial assistance for Ukraine to lifting ban on timber exports

Tree felling forestry operations (Getty Images)

Ukraine adopted the law to protect its forests but the move was slammed by the European Union representatives

EU calls on Ukraine to lift the ban on the timber exports, otherwise further funding will not be released.

In 2015, Ukraine introduced a 10-year moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber, which left the EU unhappy. The EU argues the ban on exporting roundwood from Ukraine violates the trade part of the Association Agreement.

Watch also Ukraine's forests on the verge of extinction

Commenting on the Presidents' statements after the end EU-Ukraine Summit, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn confirmed that the European Commission experts have received a Ukrainian government's proposal on how to settle the issue.

"We have a proposal to change the legislation," Hahn said, adding that the initiative was sent by the Ukrainian party last week, and the EU experts will assess the measures before putting them up for voting.

According to the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli, the proposal is a kind of compromise which suggests certain protection mechanisms instead of a blanket ban on export.

Hahn stressed that lifting the moratorium is one of the key conditions to unblock further tranche of EUR 600 million of macrofinancial assistance.

Read also 36% of Ukrainians know nothing about EU assistance to Ukraine - poll

On November 24, the President of The European Commission Jan-Claude Juncker stated that in coming weeks Ukraine is set to cancel the timber export ban and president Poroshenko is ready to submit the corresponding bill to the parliament.


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