Poland and Hungary Ban Ukrainian Grain, EU Predictably Unhappy

ER Editor: This story was picked up by both RT and Zerohedge.


EU weighs in on Poland and Hungary’s ban on Ukrainian grain

Any trade policy decisions within the bloc are an “exclusive competence” of Brussels, the EU Commission said


Brussels has slammed a decision by Poland and Hungary to ban agricultural imports from Ukraine. Such actions are “unacceptable” and go against the bloc’s rules, a spokesperson for the EU Commission said in an emailed statement to the media on Sunday.

EU weighs in on Poland and Hungary’s ban on Ukrainian grain

Poland was the first to impose temporary restrictions on grain and oilseeds as well as some other agricultural products from Ukraine on Saturday. Hungary followed suit on Sunday. Both nations cited the uncontrolled inflow of cheap produce from Ukraine resulting from the “full duty-free and free trade opportunities” granted by the EU to Kiev.

The measures introduced by the EU in an effort to aid Kiev in its ongoing conflict with Moscow have led to a “destabilization” of agricultural markets in Poland and Hungary, the two countries said, arguing that they now need to protect their own farmers’ interests.

“We are aware of Poland and Hungary’s announcements regarding the ban on imports of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine,” an EU Commission spokesperson said on Sunday, adding that “it is important to underline that trade policy is of EU exclusive competence and, therefore, unilateral actions are not acceptable.”

The statement also said it was “crucial to coordinate and align all decisions within the EU,” particularly in “such challenging times.” The statement did not clarify whether Warsaw and Budapest might face sanctions from Brussels over their decision.

The EU initially touted its initiative as a way to help its exports reach poorer nations in the Middle East and Africa. However, much of the produce has ended up in Eastern Europe, sending local prices plummeting.

Last month, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia demanded action from the EU Commission on Ukrainian agricultural imports, calling for the reintroduction of tariffs.

Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister Yavor Gechev said on Sunday that his nation was also considering a ban on Ukrainian imports, the nation’s BTA news agency reported. Warsaw has, meanwhile, banned both the import and transit of Ukrainian products through its territory, Poland’s Development and Technology Minister, Waldemar Buda, said on Twitter on Sunday.

According to Ukraine’s Ukriform news agency, the nation’s Agriculture Minister Nikolay Solsky was to meet his Polish counterpart, Robert Telus, on Monday to discuss the transit issues. Earlier, Kiev accused Warsaw of breaking a deal the two neighbors reached a week ago.



EU Condemns ‘Unilateral’ Ban On Ukrainian Grain By Poland & Hungary

Tyler Durden's Photo TYLER DURDEN

This weekend Poland and Hungary both took the drastic step of banning Ukrainian grain and other food product imports after cheap goods have flooded both countries.

The Polish prime minister’s office called the drastic action a necessary measure “to protect the Polish agricultural market against destabilization.” Hungarian Agriculture Minister István Nagy also announced a temporary ban on import of grain and oil seeds, along with other foods, which he said is needed “in the absence of meaningful EU measures.”

Via AP

In the wake of Ukrainian ports being blocked for many months prior to the UN-brokered grain export deal, Ukrainian grain to Africa and the Middle East was largely halted.

While much of it flowed into neighboring Poland, the majority tended to remain stuck in the country, which severely impacted Polish farmers given collapsing prices that resulted.

The government of Ukraine immediately said it “regrets the decision of its Polish counterparts” following the weekend announcement.

The European Union on Sunday blasted the Polish and Hungarian measures, per The New York Times:

The European Union has criticized bans by Poland and Hungary on imports of Ukrainian grain and other foods over the weekend, saying the unilateral moves were “unacceptable.”

The bloc, of which Poland and Hungary are member states, lifted tariffs on Ukrainian grain last year to help transport it to the rest of the world amid Russia’s invasion, but the exports have led to a glut of produce in Europe. As a result, farmers in Poland, Hungary and other nations have seen their incomes plummet.

Bulgaria is now also said to be mulling a similar measure. According to more from EU officials:

A spokesperson for the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said in an email on Sunday that such a trade policy was a matter of “E.U. exclusive competence,” meaning that only the bloc could adopt legally binding decisions.

The crisis could escalate, with the EU concerned over a continued domino effect of individual nations implementing their own policies, given Moscow has of late expressed doubts over its continuing participation in the UN grain deal which is monitored from Turkey, which is a mere weeks away from expiring.




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