The Slovak government will unilaterally extend the ban on imports of grain from Ukraine beyond next Friday if the European Union (EU) does not agree to extend the temporary veto that has affected five of its members since the beginning of May.
This was announced by Slovakian Agriculture Minister Josef Bires this Wednesday, referring to the agreement that Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria concluded last April and which expires on September 15th.
The pact allowed the above five community partners to exceptionally and temporarily ban imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower from Ukraine in order to protect their national markets, as Ukrainian products are exempt from tariffs due to the war in the EU .
Bires emphasized today at a press conference in Bratislava that his government is waiting for the European Commission’s (EC) decision on a possible extension of the veto. However, he made it clear that if he does not agree to extend the validity, the Slovak executive will do so unilaterally. “The government is ready to extend the ban in an extraordinary Council of Ministers in the event that the Commission does not do so,” said the minister.
Hungary supports the veto and Poland distances itself from Brussels
Hungary also supports extending the validity of the veto, and Poland has said it will do so regardless of Brussels’ decision, although Kiev has repeatedly called for the restriction to be lifted given the difficulties the country is having in exporting its products.
Ukraine’s government called Poland’s stance “unfriendly” and warned that it would announce the embargo at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it was extended after September 15.
The Bulgarian executive announced today that it will not maintain the ban beyond Friday and that it will propose to the EC to lift it on that day. This makes her the only one of the five to represent this position and describes it as solidarity with those who attacked Ukraine. for Russia.