Only Hungary Has Not Cancelled Unilateral Restrictions on Agricultural Imports from Ukraine

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Hungary remains the only country among Ukraine's neighbours that still maintains unilateral restrictions against Ukrainian agricultural imports.

"There is still one country that has not cancelled its unilateral measures against agricultural exports from Ukraine. This should not necessarily affect Ukrainian transit [of grain – ed.], and it does not apply to the entire EU. But we offered a package of assistance on the condition that the unilateral measures were withdrawn. The country that has not done so is Hungary," Ukrinform quotes Miriam Garcia Ferrer, European Commission Spokesperson for Trade and Agriculture.

She has pointed out that on 28 April, the European Commission agreed with Ukraine's neighbouring countries on a package of measures to be implemented after the states lifted their unilateral actions against agricultural imports from Ukraine.

The package also included direct aid for affected farmers in Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

"We had a presentation of these measures with the participation of different countries on 3 May. Then we discussed the €100 million aid package and the conditions for its allocation. At the moment, we are still waiting for certain unilateral measures that have been introduced to be removed before we can take the next step," Ferrer added.

Answering journalists' questions about whether the European Commission had received a letter from several member states protesting against the allocation of aid to the five countries, the spokesperson confirmed that the European Commission had received such an appeal.

"I can confirm that the European Commission received such a letter in May, this month. We will respond shortly. But I cannot predict in advance at this moment what that response will be," Ferrer said.

Until recently, Hungary and Slovakia were the only countries that had not lifted their unilateral restrictions. Slovakia did so on 12 May (Ukr). 

On 2 May, the European Commission imposed exceptional and temporary safeguard measures (Ukr) on imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine following pressure from five EU member states that blamed Ukrainian imports for the collapse of local prices.

Subsequently, 12 EU countries complained to Brussels about the lack of consultations on the Ukrainian grain agreement.

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