Following Poland’s decision, Hungary also temporarily blocked imports of Ukrainian grain, oilseeds, and some other agricultural products to protect its domestic market, Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy said.
“The government is committed to representing the interests of the Hungarian farming community, which is why, in the absence of meaningful EU measures, it is temporarily prohibiting the import of grain and oilseeds originating from or coming from Ukraine, as well as several other agricultural products into Hungary, similar to Poland,” the minister said, reports Hungarian media outlet.
The restrictions will last until June 30, which, according to the minister, should be enough time for the EU to introduce measures, including reconsidering the duty-free import of Ukrainian goods and operation of solidarity lanes.
The EU established solidarity lanes to help Ukraine export agricultural goods following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian sea ports.
On April 9, Nagy said the Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, and Romanian prime ministers, as well as the Bulgarian president, asked the European Commission to deal with increased grain imports from Ukraine.
Cheap Ukrainian grain has been flooding the EU market since the beginning of the invasion, helped by the European Union waiving customs duties and import quotas to keep Ukraine’s agricultural sector running.
Low-price grain prices prove too tempting for local buyers and traders, undercutting local producers.
Polish farmers have been protesting against the significant influx of Ukrainian grain because of a threat to their domestic market.
Earlier in the day, Poland temporarily halted the import of Ukrainian produce to defend its domestic agricultural sector.