World News

Ukraine to sue Poland, Slovakia and Hungary over grain ban: Politico | Russia-Ukraine War

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary imposed bans after an influx of Ukrainian grain sparked protests by local farmers.

kyiv plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their bans on Ukrainian agricultural products, the Politico newspaper reported.

The magazine on Monday quoted Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka as saying that kyiv could also impose reciprocal measures on Poland if Warsaw does not drop its additional measures.

“We would be forced to retaliate on additional products and ban the import of fruits and vegetables from Poland,” he said.

In May, the European Union restricted Ukrainian grain to allow Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of wheat, corn, rapeseed and of Ukrainian sunflowers while allowing the transit of these cargoes for export elsewhere.

As the restrictions expired last week, Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest announced their bans on Ukrainian grain and said they were acting in the interests of their economies and that the measure was aimed at protecting their farmers.

All three countries complain that the glut of Ukrainian grain threatens their domestic markets.

Kachka said the bans were “ridiculous.”

Workers load grain at a port in Izmail, Ukraine, April 2023 (File: Andrew Kravchenko/AP Photo)

“I think Hungary is making a political statement here that it wants to block trade with Ukraine and completely ignore Brussels. And that’s why I think this is a very bold move against both of us from Budapest,” he said.

The EU allowed its ban to expire on Friday after Ukraine announced it would take steps to tighten controls on exports to neighboring countries.

Kachka said Kiev was ready to “take responsibility for ensuring that Ukrainian exports do not create a tsunami in neighboring countries” and would impose a “real-time” export licensing system for grain.

But the Ukrainian official also stressed that the decision to enforce their bans without EU support raised “the biggest systemic concern” if partners cannot trust that Brussels speaks for the bloc.

According to Politico, Kyiv is also considering taking these countries to court at the World Trade Organization, not under its trade deal with the EU.

“I think the whole world should see how EU member states behave towards their trading partners and their own union, because this can also influence other states,” he added.


Back to top button