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HomeWorldUkraine to sue Poland, Hungary, Slovakia over food import bans

Ukraine to sue Poland, Hungary, Slovakia over food import bans

Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and other countries were able to apply restrictions in May that prevented the domestic sale of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds while allowing the transit of such cargoes for export to other countries Image Courtesy Reuters

According to Ukrainian officials, Ukraine wants to file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation against Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia for their prohibitions on Ukrainian agricultural exports.

According to a senior source, the plea might be submitted “in the near future” and came after the three nations surrounding Ukraine decided to forbid imports of many of its main exports.

Earlier on Monday, Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka was quoted by Politico as indicating in an interview that Kyiv intended to sue the three nations.

Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and other countries were able to apply restrictions in May that prevented the domestic sale of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds while allowing the transit of such cargoes for export to other countries.

Following the executive European Commission’s decision not to extend its embargo on imports into Ukraine’s five EU neighbours, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary announced their own limitations on the purchase of Ukrainian grain on Friday.

According to Warsaw, Bratislava, and Budapest, such actions are being taken to benefit their local businesses and farmers.

According to Kachka, if Warsaw continued with its extra steps, Ukraine may apply reciprocal restrictions on the import of fruit and vegetables from Poland.

According to Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus, the restriction in Warsaw now extends to meals made from the following cereals: maize, wheat and rapeseed.

PAP news agency quoted Radoslaw Fogiel, the head of Poland’s parliamentary foreign affairs commission, as saying Ukraine’s decision to sue would “reverberate badly in Poland” and that Ukraine should be aware of this.

“Our decision is not aimed at Ukraine, it is dictated by the protection of the Polish farmer and the protection of Poland’s interests,” he said.

After Ukraine announced it will take steps to tighten supervision of shipments to neighbouring countries, the EU permitted its ban to expire on Friday.

According to Kachka, Kiev would enact a system of “real time” export licences for grains and was prepared to “take on the responsibility to ensure that export from Ukraine is not creating any tsunami in neighbouring countries.”

According to data from the farm ministry, 1.4 million tonnes of farm products from Ukraine—out of a total export volume of 4.5 million tons—left the country by train in the first quarter of the 2023–24 July–June season. Train crossings with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary are used by Ukraine to transport grain. Additionally, Ukraine transported 1 million tonnes of additional oils and oilseeds by rail.

(With agency inputs)

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