Hungary will not open its borders to grain from Ukraine. Budapest is waiting for a European solution

Luc Williams

Hungary introduced a unilateral embargo on Ukrainian agricultural products in mid-September after the expiry of restrictions previously imposed by European Commission.

Ukrainian grain cannot be allowed to continue entering the European Union in unlimited quantities, and thus the interests of the eastern members of the European Union were ignored, Nagy emphasized.

Farmers’ protests in Europe are “sobering”

The politician called the farmers’ protests in Western Europe “sobering” and a “return to normality”. According to him, European agriculture is “saturated with green ideologies” and farmers cannot count on protection of their markets against imports, especially from Ukraine.

On Wednesday Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with protesting farmers in Brussels. In a radio interview on Friday, he stated that they demanded that Poles, Slovaks and Hungarians block or stop Ukrainian supplies at their borders.

On Friday, February 11, Hungarian farmers announced a demonstration on the border with Ukraine in Zahony against the European Commission’s Wednesday decision on duty-free import of products from Ukraine.

European Commission proposal

The European Commission has proposed extending the suspension of import duties and quotas on imports from Ukraine to the EU for another year and a temporary derogation from the regulations Common Agricultural Policy for EU farmers for 2024. The Commission’s proposal to liberalize trade with Ukraine also includes a “protective mechanism” in the event of significant disruptions on EU markets.

The government decree on the ban on imports from Ukraine, published in mid-September in Hungary, lists 24 categories of agricultural products, the so-called sensitive products originating from Ukraine, including various types of cereals and meat. They cannot be imported into the territory of Hungary, except for transit shipments, which must leave the country before the end of the 15th day from the moment of import.

From Budapest Marcin Furdyna (PAP)


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