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Reuters: Five European countries to ask for extended EU ban on Ukrainian grain

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 19, 2023 3:02 PM 2 min read
A COFCO facility in the north of Romania, where grain arrives from Ukraine by train. (Photo: RISE Romania)
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Five Central European countries will jointly ask the EU on July 19 to prolong the ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports beyond Sep. 15, Reuters reported.

Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria reportedly want to extend the restrictions on four Ukrainian products – wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed, the news agency cited Hungary's Agriculture Minister István Nagy.

Reuters said that representatives of the five countries are to meet in Warsaw and solidify their cooperation, and may consider individually adding other products to the banned list in the future.

On May 2, the European Commission put in place a month-long ban on wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to "alleviate logistical bottlenecks" related to these goods in the five countries. The ban was extended on June 5, set to expire by Sep. 15.

In exchange, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia pledged to cancel their unilateral limits on these and other products from Ukraine. They are still obligated to transport these products elsewhere.

Following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its effective collapse on July 17, Central European countries fear that the flow of Ukrainian grain to the EU will again increase, Reuters commented.

The EU however promised to support Ukraine's efforts to export its agricultural products from the so-called "solidarity lanes."

Ukraine war latest: Grain deal collapses after Russia pulls from agreement
Key Developments on July 17: * Grain deal collapses after Russia pulls from agreement * Crimean Bridge damaged after reported explosions * Military: Russian forces on the offensive in Lyman-Kupiansk direction * Foreign Ministry marks 9-year anniversary of Russian downing of MH17 * More Wagner…
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