Poland and Hungary ban Ukraine grain imports to protect local farmers

A dump track unloads grain in a granary in the village of Zghurivka, Ukraine, Aug. 9, 2022.
A dump track unloads grain in a granary in the village of Zghurivka, Ukraine, Aug. 9, 2022. Copyright Efrem Lukatsky/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The decision seeks to soothe the rising anger of farmers in central Europe, who say they are losing huge amounts of money to a glut of Ukrainian grain on the market.

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Poland and Hungary have agreed to temporarily ban imports of grain and dozens of other food products from Ukraine, in a move they say will protect struggling local farmers amid a glut of Ukrainian grain on the market.

Logistical problems in central Europe have caused grain stores to pile up and prices to plummet, sparking protests from agricultural workers and even the resignation of Poland's agricultural minister.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, said that the Polish countryside is facing a “moment of crisis,” and that while Poland supports Ukraine, it was forced to act to protect its farmers.

Kyiv's ministry of agrarian policy has deplored the decision as "drastic and unilateral", arguing that Ukrainian farmers were "facing the most difficult situation” given Russia's invasion.

A spokesperson for the Polish government said it's ready to start talks with Ukraine to resolve the grain issue.

The Hungarian government, meanwhile, said it expects changes in European regulations, including a review of last year's decision to lift all import tariffs on Ukraine's agricultural products.

Hungary did not give details on when its ban on grain and other food imports would go into effect.

Both Warsaw and Budapest said their bans will remain in force until 30 June.

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