Hungary joins Poland in banning import of grain from Ukraine

Hungary has joined Poland in banning the import of grain and other food products from Ukraine, in an effort to protect its domestic farming industry, according to official sources.

The ban, which was announced by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture late Saturday night, is temporary and will last until June 30. Ukrainian grain exports have been forced to take alternate routes through the European Union (EU) since Russia blocked access to the Black Sea.

Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy took to Facebook to announce the ban, saying that the Hungarian government is committed to representing the interests of its farming community.

The ministry’s statement said that in the absence of meaningful EU measures, Hungary is temporarily prohibiting the importation of grain, oilseeds, and several other agricultural products from Ukraine, similar to Poland.

Poland announced its own temporary ban on several Ukrainian foodstuffs on Saturday, following protests by Polish farmers.

The Hungarian ministry explained that the continuation of the current domestic market processes would cause serious damage to Hungarian agriculture, so “extraordinary measures must be put in place to hinder them.”

The statement also cited cheap production practices not allowed in the EU, as well as duty-free and free trade opportunities, which have allowed large quantities of Ukrainian poultry, eggs, and honey to enter the European market, making it difficult for domestic and Central European farmers to compete.

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