Ukrainian grain banned in Poland and Hungary: “unacceptable” according to EU

I amThe European Commission is “considering” a second aid package for farmers in the affected countries, ruling on Monday that Poland and Hungary’s decision to ban imports of Ukrainian grain accused of disrupting agricultural markets was “not acceptable”.

The European Union suspended tariffs on all imports from Ukraine for a year in May 2022 and arranged itself to allow exports of its grain stocks after closing sea routes. Country by Russia.

Neighboring European states have increased imports of corn, wheat or sunflowers from Ukraine, which have filled silos due to logistics problems and falling local prices – leading to protests by farmers and the resignation of Poland’s agriculture minister.

The commission said it has “requested additional information from the competent authorities to assess these measures”, including their legal basis.

“It is important to emphasize that trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU and that unilateral measures are not acceptable,” stressed Miriam García Ferrer, spokeswoman for the European Commission.

“In these difficult times, it is crucial to coordinate and align all decisions within the EU,” he added.

In Poland, the ban applies to the import of cereals, sugar, meat, fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs and other food products. For Hungary, these are cereals, oilseeds and many other products.

In 2022, according to EU statistics, the value of European imports of Ukrainian agricultural products rose by 88% in one year (13 billion euros), driven mainly by cereals, with Ukrainian wheat imported tenfold (in volume). .

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Agricultural Policy “regrets” Warsaw’s decision on Saturday. “Polish farmers are facing a tough situation, but Ukrainian farmers are facing a very tough situation,” he said.

On March 20, Brussels offered to withdraw 56.3 million euros from the EU’s agricultural crisis reserve to support stranded farmers in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

But at the end of March, five countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria) requested additional aid “to support the loss-making agricultural producers”.

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