Seimas ratifies EU-Canada trade agreements

Canadian and the EU flags
Foto: AP / Scanpix

The Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday ratified the European Union and Canada's economic and trade agreements following ten months of deliberations, with 70 votes in favor, six against and 14 abstentions.

The parliament ratified the agreements with a special Seimas statement backed by 53 lawmakers, 22 against and 12 abstentions.

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union says such a statement will protect Lithuania from the imports of GMO and hormone-treated beef. The statement says that Lithuania acknowledges that the EU-Canada agreement will not have impact on EU legislation regarding permits, sale, growing and marking of GMO and products produced under new breeding technology, and member states retain the right to restrict or ban growing GMO in their territory, which is currently allowed under EU law.

The Seimas also stated that meat from third countries, including Canada, can only be imported into the EU, if those countries comply with EU import rules.

The Seimas ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to also submit the Seimas statement when depositing the ratification documents.

"Lithuania needs this agreement more than Canada", Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius said.

Eight EU member states have so far ratified these agreements.

Currently 150 Lithuanian companies export to Canada, with 80 percent of them being small or medium enterprises.

According to media reports, Agrokoncerno Technika, part of Agrokoncernas Group controlled by Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, sells Canadian tractors Versatile.

Source: BNS
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