EBN – The European Commission has appealed to Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to adopt a cooperative approach regarding Ukrainian grain imports.
This plea comes after the three countries unilaterally declared their intention to continue prohibiting grain imports from Ukraine. This stance is at odds with the EC’s recent decision to lift the ban.
A Commission spokesperson emphasised the importance of talks in this matter.
“We are aware of some Member States’ announcements with respect to unilateral measures,” the spokesperson said. “What is important right now is that all countries work in the spirit of compromise and engage constructively.”
Ukraine, once among the world’s leading grain exporters, saw its export capacity significantly hampered following Russia’s invasion in 2022.
As a result, Ukrainian farmers have had to rely on exporting their grains through neighbouring nations.
However, the influx of grains and oilseeds into these neighbouring countries has negatively impacted local farmers. It has also prompted governments to impose bans on agricultural imports from Ukraine.
To mitigate this situation, the European Union banned imports from Ukraine into neighbouring countries in May.
Under this EU ban, Ukraine was granted permission to export its agricultural produce through these countries. However, the condition was that the products must be sold elsewhere.
The EU rescinded the ban, following Ukraine’s commitment to implement stricter export control measures for shipments to neighbouring countries.
Ongoing Debate Over Ukrainian Grain Imports
However, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, all announced on the same day that they would maintain restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports.
The Commission spokesperson reaffirmed their focus on implementing the newly announced system.
“Our focus now is to put in place and make work the new system just announced,” said the EC spokesperson.
Furthermore, there will be a meeting involving representatives from all concerned EU countries on Monday.
The meeting provides an opportunity to engage in further discussions and seek a resolution to this ongoing issue.
This matter has garnered particular attention in Poland, with the upcoming elections in October and the vital support of farmers.