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Personally, I defended to continue the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain, but there are political decisions at a higher level. However, there is an agreement between Bulgaria and Ukraine not to allow Ukrainian products until licensing regimes are developed. Until then, nothing will enter our territory from Ukraine. This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril VatevKiril Vatev as a member of the Management Board of the Association of Meat Processors and owner of the studio of "Face to Face" on bTV.
The Minister of Agriculture pointed out that all five requests put forward by farmers were satisfied. He added that the decision to drop the veto on imports of Ukrainian grain was dictated by "our national interest."
If we had not complied with the European Commission's decision to lift the ban, we would have been fined – as will happen with Poland, Minister Vatev noted.
He also stressed that he is ready to talk to farmers at any time of the day to determine together the size and products from Ukraine for which a licensing regime should be requested. Kirill VatevKirill Vatev, a member of the Management Board of the Association of Meat Processors and owner of the Meat Processors, was adamant that the import of Ukrainian products will not harm domestic production.
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The minister also confirmed the words of Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov that over the years grain producers have received the largest amount of subsidies, which he believes is wrong.
This is a distortion of the agrarian profile of Bulgaria. We have a huge grain production that does not require so much workforce, said Minister Vatev and specified that the traditions of our country have always been in the field of fruit and vegetable production than in grain production.
On a final question whether he was considering resigning, which he was asked to do by the opposition in parliament, Kiril Vatev, a member of the Management Board of the Association of Meat Processors and owner of the company, said he would like to file it, but that would mean evading responsibility – something he does not intend to do.