Zelensky says Central Europe’s import ban on Ukrainian grain is ‘unacceptable’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, right, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend their press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The various bans on Ukrainian grains imposed by five central European countries are unacceptable, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday.

“Protectionist measures (…) by EU countries neighboring Ukraine are completely unacceptable,” said Zelensky.

As Remix News reported earlier, the European Union last week adopted temporary rules to ban exports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, after these countries expressed concern that cheap Ukrainian grain threatened the livelihoods of local farmers.

Last month, von der Leyen said that the EU is addressing the “concrete but unintended” consequences of the sudden surge in Ukrainian imports in the countries concerned. The European Commission has previously provided a €36.3 million fast-start financial support package for the most affected farmers and is now preparing to present a second financial support package worth €100 million for the affected farmers.

Subsequently, the European Union banned Ukrainian grain imports until June 15, but Hungary has since signaled that with the ban only applying to new contracts, that would still allow the fulfillment of previous contracts, hence its effect will be severely limited.

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