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Slovakia becomes third EU country to temporarily ban Ukrainian grain imports

Slovakia’s government has temporarily banned the import of grain and some other agricultural products from Ukraine, making it the third European Union country to impose such a ban, after Poland and Hungary, Novinky reports.

The media notes that this decision is temporary, and the government will hold a meeting of the interdepartmental commission. Reportedly, local farmers cannot compete with cheap Ukrainian grain on the market.

The Slovak Ministry of Agriculture stated that it has exhausted all possible legal measures to regulate the situation while preserving transit. Initially, it was expected that Ukrainian grain would pass through Slovakia to other countries, but instead, it has been entering European Union warehouses and destabilizing the market, it stated.

Poland enacted a temporary ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports on 15 April. The head of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said the decision was made taking into account “the asymmetry between Polish and Ukrainian agriculture, which is a consequence of the quality of the land, significantly lower wages in Ukraine and, finally, the fact that international companies with extensive infrastructure operate in Ukraine.”

Hungary followed suit with on 16 April. The EU Commission responded by slamming the “unilateral decisions” of Hungary and Poland. Bulgaria was also eyeing such a ban.

Earlier, Brussels offered €56.3 million in compensation to affected farmers in Ukraine’s neighboring countries, but this amount was called too small.

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