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Poland, Hungary, Slovakia to extend bans on Ukrainian grain

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 16, 2023 2:02 AM 1 min read
An agricultural worker unloads cereals from a combine during a harvest on Aug. 30, 2023 in Chernihiv Oblast. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
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Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia will implement their own bans on Ukrainian grain imports despite the European Commission's decision to end the embargo on Sept. 15, according to reports from multiple media outlets.

"Due to the incorrect decision of the European Commission not to extend the grain embargo... I signed a national regulation maintaining the embargo," Polish Development and Technology Minister Waldemar Buda said.

In May, the Commission imposed a ban on sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed in five EU countries: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The nations requested the measure due to fears from local farmers that cheap Ukrainian imports would drive down agriculture prices.

While the Commission decided not to extend the ban after Sept. 15, citing data indicating that Ukrainian imports would no longer negatively impact local markets, three of the five countries will continue to restrict imports of Urkainian agricultural products.

"We will safeguard the interests of Hungarian farmers," Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy said in a Facebook post announcing Hungary's decision to continue the ban.

Hungary's ban covers 24 Ukrainian agricultural products, including certain vegetables, meats, and honey.

Slovakia will also continue to ban Ukrainian grain imports.

"We must prevent excessive pressure on the Slovak market in order to remain fair to domestic farmers," the Slovak government said in a statement.

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