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Ukraine to sue European countries that reject its grain exports: Trade representative

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia turn away Ukrainian agricultural exports via their territory to protect domestic market

Nur Asena Ertürk  | 18.09.2023 - Update : 18.09.2023
Ukraine to sue European countries that reject its grain exports: Trade representative


Ukraine is preparing to sue countries that prohibit its grain exports, a representative of Kyiv told the Politico news website.

Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have recently decided to bar Ukrainian agricultural exports in their territory in order to protect their own market.

"It is important to prove that these actions are legally wrong. And that's why we will start legal proceedings tomorrow," Ukraine's Trade Representative Taras Kachka said, Politico reported on Monday.

He added that Kyiv was also planning to retaliate against Polish food exports.

The EU allowed Ukrainian grain sales across its territory last week, but Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have refused.

Kachka further said that Ukraine was planning to take action at the World Trade Organization to inform other countries of those three European nations' move.

Hungary and Slovakia announced their own bans on Sunday after the European Commission decided not to extend restrictive measures on Ukrainian exports of cereals and other food products to the bloc.

Budapest announced on Facebook that it was banning imports of 24 products from Ukraine, including wheat and corn, as well as rapeseed and sunflower seeds, some meat products, honey, and eggs.

Slovak Prime Minister Ludovit Odor said on Facebook that the decision was taken to prevent pressure on the domestic market and protect farmers.

European Commission's decision

In a statement last week, the European Commission noted that the restrictions on Ukrainian exports of grain and other food products to the EU would expire on Friday, Sept. 15.

"The European Commission will refrain from imposing any restrictions as long as the effective measures by Ukraine are in place and fully working," the statement emphasized.

As a result, the EU's decision not to import Ukrainian grain to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria had come to an end despite the wishes of Poland and Hungary, in particular, to protect their farmers.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania had said they may extend restrictions unilaterally if the EU did not take action.

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