Poland, Slovakia and Hungary defied the EU to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports

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Workers harvest a barley field near the border with Russia in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region on August 30, 2023.


Poland, Hungary and Slovakia will defy the EU by extending the temporary ban Ukrainian grain importsA move that angered the leadership of the constituency.

On Friday, the EU announced plans to lift a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain exports to select countries in Eastern Europe.

A temporary measure adopted in May bans imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Ukrainian cereals.

Ukraine is a major supplier of grain and relies on its neighbors to ship shipments while unable to use Black Sea routes.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky His Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, who was pleased with Friday’s news, did not welcome the EU’s decision.

“We will extend this ban despite the EU’s disagreement,” Prime Minister Morawiecki said, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

“We will not listen to Berlin or van der Leyen, Tusk or Weber. We will do it in the interests of Polish farmers,” Morawiecki continued, referring to EU leaders.

Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Harvesting combines wheat in a field in the Zaporozhye region of Russian-controlled Ukraine.

Late Friday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller announced the government’s plan to immediately introduce legislation extending the ban on Ukrainian grain imports, stressing that the move was being taken “in the interests of Polish farmers and consumers.”

Hungary also wants to keep the ban in place, with the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announcing his plans to “take matters into our own hands” on Saturday on “X”, formerly known as Twitter.

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“Ukrainian agricultural products sent to Africa are flooding Central European markets. Bureaucrats in Brussels are once again blind to the problems of European farmers, so Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are extending the ban on imports on a national basis,” Orban emphasized.

Slovakia’s Ministry of Agriculture announced the decision to extend the ban in a post on Facebook on Friday, citing the need to protect Slovakia’s “domestic market”.

The decision by the three countries to use their own measures could anger EU officials. Earlier on Friday, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis called on countries to “act on the lines” of the new deal and “avoid unilateral actions” on Ukrainian grain imports.

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