Hungary wants the EU-approved ban on internal sales of Ukrainian grain in the five member states of the EU bloc, which borders Ukraine, to be extended beyond its current deadline of September 15, he said. on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, according to Reuters.
“Hungary will ask the EU to extend the ban starting on September 16,” Gergely Gulyas told a press briefing, adding that Hungary is prepared to reimpose a national import ban if the EU does not extend the measure.
In May, the European Union allowed Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds to protect local farmers, but these countries must allow transit of such cargoes to be exported elsewhere. This ban is due to expire on September 15.
And Poland, which is preparing for elections in the fall, has declared that it will not lift the ban, even if the EU does not agree on its extension.
Before the measure received EU approval, central European countries, with the exception of Romania, imposed unilateral bans earlier this year on Ukrainian grain imports to protect their domestic producers after a surge in Ukrainian grain exports in the five states in 2022 and early 2023.
The current EU agreement to protect farmers in the five countries is due to expire next month, and central European countries want it to be extended at least until the end of the year.