Deforestation in Exchange for Aid: The EU’s Ultimatum to Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The European Union will agree to provide Ukraine with assistance to the amount of €600 million in exchange for a waiver of the prohibition of export of roundwood.

Deputy Head of the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada Viktor Kryvenko commented on this to 112 Ukraine.

He said that the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, when speaking about a “financial cushion” from the EU, was referring to this assistance.

“He was referring to financial aid at €600 million, but there is a serious problem and it has not yet been resolved. The European Union demands that we repeal the law banning the export of roundwood. This is the European Association pressuring our government financially. In Ukraine, after the adoption of the law, there are already more than 20 new woodwork enterprises. This is the only chance to revive the industry and stop this barbaric chopping down, which hurts the forest. Therefore, this is general help, and is not tied to a particular direction”, said Kryvenko.

As was reported by “Obozrevatel”, a place in Slovakia was found where wood is stored that is taken from the forests of Ukraine.

Recall that the Verkhovna Rada, on 9th April 2015, passed a law that bans for 10 years the export of timber and lumber in its raw form — roundwood. Thus, the ban on the export of timber tree species (except pine) was introduced on 1st November 2015, and for the pine tree species — from 1st January 2017.

The temporary ban on the export of wood abroad was introduced not only to prevent uncontrolled export, but also to support the Ukrainian woodwork industry.

But in March of 2016, the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk asked the Parliament to lift the ban on the export of unprocessed timber. The Cabinet of Minsters prepared and submitted a bill to Parliament. The EU demands the removal of the moratorium.

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