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Bulgaria votes to lift embargo on grain imports from Ukraine

Poland has insisted it will extend the embargo, while Romania, Hungary and Slovakia are awaiting an EU decision on whether to continue the embargo.

The Bulgarian Parliament voted to lift the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain from Friday September 15.


There were 124 votes in favor, 69 against and eight abstentions.

Bulgaria was one of five countries, following a European Union decision, to impose an embargo on Ukrainian grain from April to September 15.

Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev admitted that he had already supported the idea of ​​extending the ban. He changed his decision on Wednesday after hearing that economic indicators and forecasts show that lifting the ban is “not that worrying” and will not have serious consequences for the Bulgarian economy.

He said: “At the last government meeting, macroeconomic indicators were presented which show that it is not so worrying for Bulgaria to abandon this ban. We are strengthening control over all Ukrainian products, especially cereals, as well as strict control of radioactivity and heavy metals.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the vote as an act of true solidarity in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The European Union had to decide whether Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Poland should extend or abandon the ban.

But Poland takes a tougher stance.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his government would not lift the embargo on Ukrainian grain imports, regardless of the European Commission’s position.

Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski stressed that Poland wants to maintain good, friendly relations with Ukraine and supports the country in its war against Russia, but must look after the interests of Polish farmers.

The five countries had allowed the transit of sealed goods through their territories to avoid a glut of products in their domestic markets.


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