Imports of Ukrainian Grain: Poland, Hungary and Slovakia Unilaterally Extended the Ban
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia unilaterally extend the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain. The decision became clear hours after the European Commission announced that it would not extend the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain agreed with five member states, including Bulgaria.
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Brussels' decision, and the Commission called on EU countries to refrain from unilateral actions.
Polish Prime Minister Mazowiecki has assured that he will protect the interests of farmers, despite the position of Brussels. Warsaw's restrictions remain on imports from Ukraine of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower.
Slovakia took a similar unilateral decision. Since September 16, Hungary has banned the import of 24 agricultural products from Ukraine, including cereals, vegetables, meat products and honey. All three countries will continue the transit of Ukrainian production.
"We currently see no market distortion in the five member states, so we are not extending the ban. It should be noted that this is an exceptional precautionary measure that should not operate indefinitely," said Valdis Dombrovskis, EU trade commissioner.
The ban was agreed with Brussels in the spring to protect domestic production in five member states, including Bulgaria. Romania expressed regret that the measure did not remain in force until the end of the year.
Bucharest will wait for Ukraine to present promised measures against excessive agricultural exports before deciding how to protect its farmers.
"It would be best if the member countries refrain from unilateral actions and work in accordance with this agreement," added Valdis Dombrovskis.
Under the agreement, Ukraine commits to take legal measures against excessive volumes in grain exports, such as a licensing system, within 30 days. By Monday evening, Kyiv must present an action plan.
"Europe always wins when agreements work and promises are kept. If the decisions of our neighbors are not good-neighborly, Ukraine will respond in a civilized way," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The European Commission will not impose restrictions as long as there are effective measures on the Ukrainian side and they are fully operational.
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