July 21, 2024

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Poland, Slovakia and Hungary defy the European Union and extend a ban on Ukrainian grain imports

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary defy the European Union and extend a ban on Ukrainian grain imports

Pierre Crome/Getty Images

Workers harvest a field of barley near the border with Russia in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine on August 30, 2023.


Poland, Hungary and Slovakia will challenge the EU and extend their temporary ban Ukrainian grain importsIn a move that is likely to anger the bloc’s leadership.

The European Union on Friday announced plans to temporarily suspend a temporary ban on the export of Ukrainian grain to a selected number of countries in Eastern Europe.

The temporary measure adopted in May saw a ban on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to counter the risk of farmers in these countries being undermined by the cheap bottleneck. Ukrainian grains.

Ukraine is a major grain supplier and relies on its neighbors to send exports through it, while it has not been able to use the Black Sea routes.

While he was the leader of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky After rejoicing at the news on Friday, his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, did not welcome the EU decision.

The official Polish news agency quoted Prime Minister Morawiecki as saying: “We will extend this ban despite the lack of approval from the European Union.”

“We will not listen to Berlin, von der Leyen, Tusk or Weber. We will do this because it is in the interest of the Polish farmer,” he said, referring to European Union leaders.

Later on Friday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller announced the government’s plan to immediately introduce a regulation to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports, stressing that the measure is being taken “in the interest of Polish farmers and consumers.”

Hungary also chose to keep the ban in place, with the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban announcing on Saturday on “X”, formerly known as Twitter, his plans to “take matters into our own hands.”

“Ukrainian agricultural products destined for Africa are flooding Central European markets. Bureaucrats in Brussels are turning a blind eye to the problems of European farmers again, so Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have extended the ban on imports on a national basis,” Orbán asserted.

The Slovak Agriculture Ministry announced its decision to extend the ban in a Facebook post on Friday, citing the need to protect Slovakia’s “domestic market.”

The decision of the three countries to implement their own measures may anger European Union officials. Earlier Friday, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis called on countries to “act along the lines” of the new agreement and “refrain from taking unilateral action” on Ukrainian grain imports.