Ukraine to slap ban on Polish, Hungarian agriculture in response to their import restrictions

Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal has called on Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to abandon their unilateral ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, threatening with a ‘retaliatory embargo’.

In a statement posted on social media, Mr Shmyhal said that Ukraine had decided to sue three countries in the World Trade Organisation and at the same time proposed a compromise action plan to control the export of four groups of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Such control, the Ukrainian PM insists, will prevent any market distortions in neighbouring EU member states.

"We are planning to adopt a resolution stipulating that goods exported to five neighbouring countries will be subject to verification and approval by the Ukrainian ministry of economy," Mr Shmyhal said.

He added that Ukraine is launching an anti-discrimination investigation "against the unfriendly trade actions of those countries".

"If Poland and Hungary do not agree to the measures agreed with the European commission and do not lift their unilateral bans on our goods, we will decide to ban imports of certain categories of goods from these countries to Ukraine," the Ukrainian PM said.

"We once again call on our neighbours to abandon harmful and unlawful restrictions, political populism and embark on a constructive dialogue that will actually benefit everyone."

On 15 September, the European Commission refused to extend the temporary measures that had restricted the free circulation of four Ukrainian agricultural products – wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower – in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary since May.

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary refused to comply with the European Commission's decision and extended the embargo unilaterally.

On 15 September, the European commission refused to extend the temporary measures that since May limited the free circulation of four Ukrainian agricultural products — wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower — on the territory of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Despite this decision, three EU countries — Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary — announced a unilateral ban on the import of Ukrainian grain.

Ukraine called this grain embargo unlawful and on Monday evening filed lawsuits at the World Trade Organization against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.