By Chris King • 26 April 2023 • 2:47
Credit: maradon 333/Shutterstock.com
According to Istvan Nagy, the republic’s Minister of Agriculture, Hungary will not lift its ban on the import of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine.
He insisted on Tuesday, April 25, that his government will continue negotiations with the European Commission in order to prepare a general agreement on this issue at the EU level. Nagy made his comments to Hungarian journalists while attending a meeting with his colleagues from the EU countries in Luxembourg.
“Although no decision was made at the meeting of the EU Council on Agriculture to prevent a crisis in the domestic market caused by the supply of Ukrainian grain to the EU countries, the result of the upcoming agreement will be that Hungary will continue to maintain a ban on grain imports from Ukraine”, the MIT news agency quoted him as saying.
Nagy noted that negotiations in the EU on this issue are “going well” and will continue. Everyone is aware of the seriousness of the current situation he said, and is sympathetic to the measures taken unilaterally by a number of EU countries to ban the import of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.
“The European Union is looking for a solution that will allow maintaining the introduced measures”, the minister added.
Further negotiations should, first of all, concern five types of products: wheat, rapeseed, corn, sunflower and sunflower oil Nagy stressed. It will also be necessary to decide whether the ban will extend to other agricultural products produced in Ukraine he continued.
Hungary is in favour of maintaining the ban on their import until the end of the year and wants to receive guarantees for the implementation of such a decision, as reported by tass.ru.
In addition, the Hungarian government proposed to increase compensation to farmers from Eastern Europe affected by the supply of Ukrainian grain and other goods at reduced prices. So far, the European Commission has agreed to allocate an additional €100 million for these purposes.
The minister also believed that the European Commission should develop measures that will ensure the transit of Ukrainian grain to traditional markets in Asia and Africa. “To this end, Hungary has proposed to the European Union to support transit traffic”, Nagy said.
He stressed that the government is ready to continue negotiations in the EU until a solution is found that guarantees the interests of European farmers and the payment of compensation to them for the damage caused by Ukrainian dumping.
Previously, five European countries – Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – sent a joint appeal to the European Commission with a request to take measures to solve the problems caused by the supply of Ukrainian agricultural products at reduced prices.
They proposed, in particular, to expand the ban on imports to the EU of goods from Ukraine and not limit it only to wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds.
In addition, the countries of Eastern Europe advocated the creation of a single European mechanism for the purchase of Ukrainian grain and called for the abolition of the EU duty-free import of Ukrainian agricultural products.
On April 19, the Hungarian government imposed a ban on imports from Ukraine of grain and more than 20 types of agricultural products. These included flour, vegetable oil and honey, indicating that it was protecting the interests of Hungarian farmers.
This ban will remain in effect until June 30. The transit of Ukrainian grain through the country to traditional markets in Asia and Africa has been preserved, but it has been strictly controlled. Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia have taken similar measures.
After this decision, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, expressed her readiness to introduce restrictions at the EU level on the import of Ukrainian wheat, corn, sunflower and rapeseed until June 5. The European Commission also offered to provide additional assistance to Eastern European farmers to the amount of €100 million.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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