KIEV - In the course of the moratorium on forest felling in Ukraine, bypassing not only national legislation but also EU regulations and certifications, Ukrainian timber is cut and harvested at such a rate that over four years its exports to the EU countries increased by 75%, exceeding the mark in a billion Euro in 2017.
During the last two years, illegal logging in Ukraine has increased several times and the affiliated companies have been enriched by billions. EU governments are powerless.
In the EU since 2013, the EU Regulation, which sets the criteria for exporting timber to the EU market, is the EUTR. It explicitly prohibits the import of trees illegally obtained in the country of origin, and also requires importers to carry out "due diligence" legal checks to minimise the risk of illegal timber entering the Union's domestic market. The overwhelming majority of illegalities occurring in the forestry sector of Ukraine are related to the violation of laws by state officials themselves. In addition, illegal exports from Ukraine to the European Union could not occur - if there were no corruption in the customs authorities of European countries and Ukraine.
One journalist from Romania wants to remain anonymous.