WARSAW, Sep 15 (Aljazeera) - Poland, Slovakia and Hungary will impose their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports, the governments said after the European Commission decided not to extend a ban affecting Ukraine’s five EU neighbours.
Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds while permitting transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere.
“We will extend this ban despite their disagreement, despite the European Commission’s disagreement,” Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki told a rally in the northeastern town of Elk on Friday. “We will do it because it is in the interest of the Polish farmer.”
Hungary imposed a national import ban on 24 Ukrainian agricultural products, including grains, vegetables, several meat products and honey, according to a government decree published on Friday.
Slovakia’s agriculture minister followed suit announcing his country’s own grain ban. All three bans only apply to domestic imports and do not affect transit to onward markets.
The EU created alternative land routes, so-called Solidarity Lanes, for Ukraine to use to export its grains and oilseeds after Russia backed out of the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal in July that allowed safe passage for the cargo ships.
The European Commission said existing measures would expire as originally planned on Friday after Ukraine agreed to introduce any legal measures within 30 days to avoid grain surges.