Ukraine threatened to ban imports from Poland and Hungary due to grain embargo

Ukraine will ban imports of certain categories of goods from Poland and Hungary if Warsaw and Budapest do not lift unilateral restrictions on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, the country’s prime minister, Denys Shmygal, has said.

“Russia daily attacks our ports, destroys infrastructure, grain elevators, attacks agrarian enterprises, mines fields. Further blocking of our agricultural exports by neighboring countries will hit the Ukrainian economy, finances, tax revenues and jobs”  Shmygal wrote in his Telegram channel.

Due to the current situation, the Ukrainian prime minister suggested a compromise: to introduce European Commission control over the export of four groups of agricultural products.

“Such control will help prevent any distortion of the market in neighboring EU member states. In particular, we plan to adopt a decree that stipulates that goods going in the export mode to 5 neighboring states will receive verification and approval from the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy”, Shmygal explained.

Before that, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia extended the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain against the recommendation of the European Commission. They did this because of farmers’ complaints, as cheaper Ukrainian products lead to lower local prices and losses for producers.

Earlier, Kyiv complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) because of the ban imposed by the three EU members. In its turn, the European Commission refused to comment on the sovereign decisions of the countries.

At the same time, Poland threatened to block Ukraine’s accession to the EU if the grain issue remains unresolved. “Polish agriculture will never surpass Ukrainian agriculture. There are several hundred thousand farms there. It is a completely different agriculture, that is why our position is so strict”, Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telius said.

Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022. The aspiration for membership in the EU and Euro-Atlantic security structures is enshrined in the country’s constitution. On June 23, 2022, Ukraine was granted the status of a candidate for EU membership

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