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Czechia to propose EU-wide grain import ban on Russia, Belarus

by Sonya Bandouil March 18, 2024 1:44 AM 1 min read
Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny attends the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium on July 25, 2023. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Czechia is planning to propose a ban on grain imports from Russia and Belarus into European Union countries at next week's European Council meeting, Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny said on March 17.

Over the last year, 1.5 million tons of grain were imported into the EU market from Russia, which amounted to more than what was imported before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

“There is no reason why we should support the aggressor by buying Russian grain in Europe,” Vyborny said on Czech television, insisting that grain must be added to the list of sanctions.

The European Union has already implemented thirteen sanctions packages against Russia, including on trade restrictions, travel bans, and freezing of assets.

In February, Latvia’s parliament voted to ban a list of Russian and Belarusian agricultural and food product imports.

"This Latvian initiative to ban the import of agricultural and fodder products from Russia and Belarus... is an additional element to the common EU sanctions policy,” the Latvian government statement read.

Similarly, on March 14, the Lithuanian parliament adopted a resolution calling on the EU to ban Russian grain crop imports.

Lithuanian farmers complain about Russian, not Ukrainian grain
“These are impressive figures, with over 3 million tons of Russian grain having passed through Latvia and Lithuania combined in 2023,” said Ausrys Macijauskas, the head of the Lithuania Association of Grain Growers.
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