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HomePoliticsHungary calls for EU aid to help Ukrainian grain transit

Hungary calls for EU aid to help Ukrainian grain transit

By Boldizsar Gyori and Krisztina Than
BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Hungary called on Thursday for “progressive” aid from the EU to help move Ukraine’s grain through central European countries whose farmers are having to compete with its cheaper imports.

Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy met his Ukrainian counterpart after Hungary banned imports of honey and certain meat products from Ukraine, in addition to grains, until June 30, adding to pressure to broaden proposed EU-wide measures.

Nagy did not say what was meant by “progressive” in terms of what aid Hungary considered was required from the EU.

The European Commission said on Wednesday it would take emergency “preventive measures” for wheat, maize, sunflower seeds and rapeseed after some central European countries took unilateral steps to ban imports of food products from Ukraine.

However, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, whose ministers took part in talks with European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis on Wednesday, want the list to be longer, including products such as milk, poultry and honey.

The countries became transit routes for Ukrainian grain that could not be exported through the country’s Black Sea ports because of Russia’s invasion in February last year.

Bottlenecks then trapped millions of tons of grains in countries bordering Ukraine, forcing local farmers to compete with an influx of cheap Ukrainian imports.

    Hungary’s ban “includes a total of 25 products, the most important of which are cereals, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, flour, oil, honey and certain meat products”, the prime minister’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told a news briefing.

Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus also said on Thursday that the proposed EU list should be longer.

“They proposed four cereals, the five of us propose more of these products,” Telus said during a news briefing.

Nagy had said on Wednesday that Budapest will continue to allow the transit of Ukrainian grain through Hungary, ensuring the departure of shipments “in a controlled manner”.

An EU official said the bloc’s proposals would only allow grain to enter the five countries from Ukraine if they were set for export to other EU members or to the rest of the world. This measure would last until the end of June.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than and Boldizsar Gyori in Budapest, Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, William Mallard, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Jan Harvey and Alexander Smith)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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