Hungary says will extend Ukrainian grain ban, other Eastern EU members to follow

Hungarian agriculture minister István Nagy said on Wednesday that his country will extend the ban on the imports of Ukrainian grain after 15 September, when the respective restriction expires on the European Union level.

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In a video address posted on Facebook, Mr Nagy also claimed that other Eastern EU members—Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia— have agreed to follow suit.

Poland already announced on Tuesday it unilaterally extend the ban on the imports of the Ukrainian grain. Kyiv in turn said it would submit the dispute with Poland to World Trade Organization arbitration proceedings

"We protect the interests of farmers! If necessary, we will extend and expand the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products within our national competence," the Hungarian minister stressed.

"We have agreed with my Romanian, Slovak and Bulgarian colleagues that if there is no decision to extend the current moratorium by Brussels, we will take national measures on an individual basis."

The five Eastern EU members insisted on extending the current EU ban beyond 15 September, with Poland and Hungary saying they would unilaterally extend the ban regardless of Brussels' decision.

In mid-April, the EU’s executive arm and its five members, most notably Poland, agreed to introduce a temporary limitation on the imports of some of Ukraine’s agricultural produce amid concerns that those harm local farmers’ profits.

The ban was extended in June until mid-September with a EUR 100 million financial support package for farmers, and the EU stressed it was not intent on granting another extension.