Bulgaria wants to ban imports of Ukrainian grain. Photo: Inquam Photos / George Gallin
Acting Minister of Agriculture Yavor Kechev said Bulgaria is considering banning imports of Ukrainian grain, similar to what Poland and Hungary have decided. Radio Bulgaria.
“Bulgarian interests must be protected. And, after two countries have already acted in this way, if we do not react, the concentration on Bulgarian territory will increase even more,” he said.
The minister also said that he had discussed this topic with his colleagues from six countries a few days ago. Sofia has asked Brussels to react since September after farmers complained that the market was being flooded with grain from Ukraine.
The Bulgarian minister’s statement came after Poland and Hungary announced they had decided to ban imports of grain and other food products from Ukraine to protect their agricultural sector.
Two days ago, Slovakia also banned grain from Ukraine from being sold on the market after EU-banned pesticides were found in Ukrainian wheat.
On Friday, agriculture ministers from Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary held a meeting via video conference during which they decided to act together on grain from Ukraine.
CE: Member States’ unilateral trade measures “unacceptable”
On the other hand, the European Commission qualifies the decisions of Warsaw and Budapest as “unacceptable”.
A spokesman for the European Commission said on Sunday that unilateral trade measures by EU countries were “unacceptable”.
“We are aware of the announcements by Poland and Hungary regarding the ban on imports of cereals and other agricultural products. In this context, it is important to stress that trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU and, therefore, unilateral measures are unacceptable,” a spokesperson for the European Commission was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Ukraine expressed its regret over Poland and Hungary’s decision, saying that “solving problems through harsh, unilateral decisions will not speed up a positive resolution of the situation.”
The Ministry of Agriculture in Kyiv said the ban imposed by Poland was against the bilateral agreement on exports and called for talks to resolve the situation.
“We understand that Polish farmers are in a difficult situation, but we emphasize that Ukrainian farmers are now in a very difficult situation,” the Ukrainian ministry said in a statement.