On the sixteenth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) decided that if the Ukrainian crisis continues to complicate food supplies, it will be necessary import agricultural products from countries such as Argentina, the United States or Canada, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Friday when analyzing the debates at the European summit in Versailles.
“The discussion addressed the insufficient raw materialsincluding the agri-food sector,” said Draghi, specifying that if the situation worsens it will be “necessary to import from other countries, such as the United States, Canada or Argentina.”
The Italian Prime Minister warned that opening up to these imports “determines a need to reconsider the entire regulatory apparatus”and added: “We find this issue in State aid and in the Stability Pact.”
“There is a conviction that the Commission must temporarily review the rules who accompanied us these years”, Draghi pointed out, alluding to the tariffs, subsidies and quotas with which the European Union limits imports from countries such as Argentina or Brazil.
In this framework, he considered that supply sources should be “reoriented”, which “means build new business relationships“.
The Italian Prime Minister acknowledged that the tariffs and quotas with which the European Union limits imports from countries such as Argentina or Brazil could be “temporarily reviewed.” Photo: EFE
On the other hand, the Italian Prime Minister also raised the need to formulate a common European defensive strategy, evidenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but highlighted the importance of NATO.
“European security is inalienable, but so is transatlantic security. We must have a strong defense to join NATO“, he stated.
Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, Draghi said that he did not see “the risk of an extension of the war”, and linked this circumstance to the sanctions approved by Western countries against Russia
“When the harsher the penalties, the lower the risk of a widening of the conflict,” he stressed.
At that point, he considered that the sanctions against Russia “They are very hard and were adopted by all without hesitation“, and recognized: “They could be tougher, but the important thing is to know that they have an impact on families, companies and above all”.
“This situation, if not addressed, has the potential to fracture the EU economic system and push towards protectionism,” he warned.
The first Italian and former president of the European Central Bank affirmed that the EU is prepared, but “by no means” is it “in a war economy”.
“I’ve seen some exaggerated alerts. Getting ready does not mean that we are already prepared, because otherwise we would already be in a rationing phase,” he added.
Finally, Draghi considered that if the EU economy were to weaken due to the crisis, “it will be necessary to take a budgetary political response, not at the level of national budgets, but rather it must be a European response.”
With information from ANSA