Five European Union member states will jointly ask the bloc on Wednesday to extend a ban on Ukrainian grain imports beyond a deadline that expires on Sept. 15 to avoid major market turmoil, Hungary’s agriculture minister told Reuters.
On the way to their meeting in Warsaw, Istvan Nagy said at the airport that Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia will ask for the ban on imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rape and sunflower to remain for the time being.
However, he noted that they would also discuss an option where countries could individually ask the EU to add products to the ban list.
Last month, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania were allowed to ban imports from Ukraine of wheat, corn, canola and sunflower to help their own producers whose produce cannot be sold because of more competitive Ukrainian prices.
The five countries most affected by increased imports of Ukrainian food into the EU insisted that the restrictions last until the end of the year, but the European Commission preferred to extend them until the harvest.
On Monday, Moscow pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal that allowed Ukrainian grain blocked by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict to be safely exported.
A day later, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the bloc would also respond by expanding overland routes for Ukrainian grain exports through the Solidarity Corridors, or road and rail links through Ukraine’s EU neighbors as well as Moldova.
Expanding transit through the bloc is sensitive for Poland and some other EU countries bordering Ukraine, where local farmers are under pressure from increased Ukrainian imports, Reuters notes.