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Bulgaria may ban Ukrainian grain imports after Polish, Hungarian bans

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2023 8:07 PM 1 min read
Workers at a grain processing plant in Lotskyne, Mykolaiv Oblast, prepare wheat for export on Nov. 4, 2022. (Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent)
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Bulgaria's acting Agriculture Minister Yavor Gechev said on April 16 that Bulgaria would consider a ban on grain imports from Ukraine following a similar decision by two other EU countries, Poland and Hungary.

According to him, the step is supposed to “protect Bulgaria's interests, especially when such a restriction has already been introduced by two other states.”

Gechev added that there will be too much grain in the country “unless we take appropriate action.”

On April 15, the Polish government temporarily banned grain and other food imports from Ukraine until June 30 to protect local farmers.

Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy said on April 16 that Hungary had also banned the import of grain from Ukraine, as well as a number of other Ukrainian agricultural products.

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.

“We ask the relevant authorities of both countries to provide additional information to be able to evaluate these measures,” Podesta said.

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year and Russia's control of the Black Sea, Ukraine has been forced to start exporting overland through neighboring countries.

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