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EU: Polish, Hungarian bans on Ukrainian grain, food imports ‘unacceptable’

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2023 5:26 PM 1 min read
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A unilateral ban on grain and other food products from Ukraine by European Union member states is unacceptable, a European Commission spokesperson said on April 16 after Poland and Hungary stopped imports from Ukraine to protect local farmers, Reuters reported.

Both Poland and Hungary said the restrictions would last until June 30.

“It is important to underline that trade policy is of EU exclusive competence and, therefore, unilateral actions are not acceptable,” the spokesperson said, adding that “it is crucial to coordinate and align all decisions within the EU.”

After starting its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia blocked Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, hindering Ukraine from exporting its grain. Large quantities of cheaper grain stayed in Central European states, affecting the prices and sales at domestic markets.

The issue has created a political problem for Poland's ruling nationalist Law and Justice party during an election year, as it has heavy support among the rural population.

On April 9, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, and Romanian prime ministers and the Bulgarian president asked the European Commission to address increased grain imports from Ukraine, Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy said.

The restrictions, which, according to Nagy, should be enough time for the EU to introduce measures, including reconsidering the duty-free import of Ukrainian goods and operation of solidarity lanes.

Ukraine war latest: Russia intensifies Bakhmut assault; 2-year-old killed in Russian missile strike (GRAPHIC)
Editor’s note: This story contains graphic images that some readers may find uncomfortable. Key developments on April 14: * UK Defense Ministry: Russia ‘re-energized’ assault on Bakhmut as the Kremlin and Wagner improve cooperation * Ukrainian army rejects Russia’s claim of being surrounded in B…
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