BRATISLAVA (dpa-AFX) – Slovakia has banned the sale of Ukrainian wheat as food and animal feed until further notice after pesticides were found in it. Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan said in Bratislava on Friday that he had personally informed the EU authorities responsible for food safety as well as the Ukrainian ambassador in Slovakia and asked for understanding.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that in the largest Slovakian grain mill, increased levels of pesticides banned in the EU as harmful to health had been detected in an examined delivery of 1,500 tons of Ukrainian wheat. The ban was therefore unavoidable to protect consumers.
Slovakia is among the staunchest political and military supporters of Ukraine. At the same time, it is one of the EU countries whose farmers feel threatened by the duty-free import of large quantities of Ukrainian grain made possible by the EU. In Poland and Romania there were therefore peasant protests.
Vlcan also reported on the results of an online conference of the Ministers of Agriculture of Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with a representative of Ukraine. According to him, it was about ways in which Ukraine can market its grain without farmers in neighboring EU countries being harmed by large quantities of cheaper Ukrainian grain on the markets