The World Trade Organization on Thursday published Ukraine’s request for dispute settlement proceedings after Poland, Hungary and the Slovak Republic banned imports of a range of Ukrainian agricultural goods.
Ukraine’s request for consultations marks the first formal step of the WTO’s lengthy dispute resolution process and could escalate into Ukraine’s first WTO dispute case as a plaintiff against a European Union member. Ukraine is simultaneously working to join the 27-nation bloc.
Ukraine alleged that the bans violate various provisions of the WTO Agriculture Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, according to a copy of the complaints.
In recent weeks, Ukraine and Poland have sparred over the agricultural import ban with the Polish government walking back recent remarks from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that the country would no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
The three nations have 60 days to enter into consultations with Ukraine. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, Kiev can request the establishment of a WTO panel.
It could take several years for the case to work its way through the WTO’s backlogged dispute-settlement system. Even if Ukraine wins the dispute, the other three nations could theoretically veto the outcome by appealing the decision to the WTO’s paralyzed appellate body.