Eastern EU members call for Ukrainian grain ban to be extended
Photo via EPA

The ministers of agriculture of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have called on the European commission to extend the ban on agricultural imports from Ukraine until the end of the year, the Polish ministry of agriculture said in a statement.

A joint letter at Warsaw’s initiative was sent to vice president of the European commission Valdis Dombrovskis and European commissioner for agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski.

The five countries believe that the EU commission's decision, which came into force on 2 May, may prove to be ineffective and insufficient – in particular since the import ban does not apply to goods contracted before that date.

They call on the EU’s executive arm to find a way out of this situation by proposing appropriate legally binding mechanisms, as well as continuously monitor other agricultural imports from Ukraine, and extend support to local farmers.

In mid-April, Poland, followed by Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, under pressure from local producers, suspended the import of grain and other food products from Ukraine.

The countries agreed to cancel unilateral restrictions only after lengthy negotiations with the European Union, as a result of which the European Commission agreed to allocate 100 million euros for compensation to farmers of Ukraine's neighbouring countries.