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Reuters: EU to discuss Hungarian, Polish bans on Ukrainian grain imports this week

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2023 5:58 PM 1 min read
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The ambassadors of the European Union's member states in Brussels will discuss a decision of Poland and Hungary to ban grain imports from Ukraine this week, Reuters reported on April 17, citing an unnamed senior EU official.

"We expect Poland and Hungary to offer some explanation, and there will also be a reaction by the European Commission… We'll see what we can do in the coming weeks and months," the official told Reuters, adding the issue had been raised at the last summit of EU national leaders, including by Slovakia and Romania.

Earlier, the Polish and Hungarian governments temporarily banned grain and other food imports from Ukraine until June 30 to protect local farmers.

However, Arianna Podesta, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said on April 16 that such decisions made by countries independently from the EU are unacceptable.

After starting its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia blocked Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, hindering Ukraine from exporting its grain and forcing Kyiv to start exporting overland through neighboring countries.

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.

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