Agricultural Ministers of Central European countries take joint action against Ukrainian imports again

The need to restrict the duty on Ukrainian agricultural products was agreed by the Ministers of Agriculture of the Central European member states suffering from Ukrainian imports. There is a full agreement on the need to continue joint action towards the European Commission, because the problems of these countries cannot be addressed without assets at EU level – István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, announced on Friday after the meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the neighbouring member states of Ukraine.

According to István Nagy, it is once again reasonable to limit the duty-free exemption of wheat, corn, sunflower, rapeseed and soya, and it should only be granted to Ukraine within the limits of the quantitative import quotas applied previously. In view of the significant increase in imports, our country also recommends extending the scope of the quota system to sunflower seed. Hungary wants at least to get temporary additional duties imposed by the European Union on grain imported from Ukraine in case the destination of the commodity arriving through the Solidarity Lanes is a “border” member state of Ukraine. Besides all this, in order to address the situation in the short term and to mobilise the market, we ask the Commission to support the EU to buy stored grain grown in border member states for humanitarian purposes, which cannot be sold because of the drop in prices caused by imports. Transit shipments would require an EU monitoring and assurance system. Our country orders new, more comprehensive and stricter inspections for Ukrainian grain at the border – he added.

He explained that the countries concerned send a joint letter to the European Commission with new proposals for the solution, which will be discussed at the next Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting. The Minister expressed hope that Brussels would not make a difference between “border” countries, instead, it accepts the proposals of the cooperating countries and brings a comprehensive and unified solution to the table. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine, but we cannot endanger the livelihood of Hungarian farmers and Hungarian agriculture – stated István Nagy.