Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports on Friday after the European Commission decided not to extend its ban on imports into Ukraine’s five EU neighbours.
Ukraine was one of the world’s top grain exporters before Russia’s 2022 invasion reduced its ability to ship agricultural produce to global markets. However, the flood of grains and oilseeds into neighbouring countries reduced prices there, impacting the income of local farmers.
The EU in May stepped in to prevent individual countries from imposing unilateral bans and imposed its own ban on imports into neighbouring countries. Under the EU ban, Ukraine was allowed to export through those countries on condition the produce was sold elsewhere.
The EU allowed that ban to expire on Friday after Ukraine pledged to take measures to tighten control of exports to neighbouring countries.
EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday countries should refrain from unilateral measures against imports of Ukrainian grain, but Poland, Slovakia and Hungary immediately responded by reimposing their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports. They will continue to allow the transit of Ukrainian produce.