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Government Maintains Border Closure until the EU Restricts Grain Imports from Ukraine

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.05.

What is happening in Western Europe is “the sobering up of Europe, the return to normality,” said Minister of Agriculture István Nagy on Kossuth Radio’s Sunday Newspaper (Vasárnapi Újság) program in connection with the farmers’ protests.

As the Minister noted, Europe’s agriculture and food self-sufficiency are currently at risk, as never before has European agriculture been so “steeped in green ideologies,” while farmers are not receiving market protection for agricultural products from third countries, specifically Ukraine. He said that until a common European solution is found to restrict imports of Ukrainian grain,

the Hungarian government will continue to maintain the border closure for Ukrainian grain as a unilateral decision taken under national competence.

Photo: Facebook/Nagy István

István Nagy stressed that they cannot allow Ukrainian grain to continue to enter the European Union in unlimited quantities, because the interests of the Eastern European countries along the borders cannot be ignored. As he explained, it is unacceptable that while the French and German lobbies are expected to remove poultry, eggs and sugar from the list of products that can be imported without restrictions and duty-free, the Eastern European countries are left to deal with the grain problem, which of course they cannot ignore.

The Minister expressed his pleasure that Hungarian farmers will march to the Ukrainian-Hungarian border in Záhony (eastern Hungary) next Friday, and that they will not tolerate without a response that the European Union does not want to find a European solution and does not want to propose a common solution to the problems.

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The Agriculture Minister noted that while “ideologically over-driven” Western European governments were imposing austerity measures at the expense of farmers, the Hungarian government was providing unprecedented support to farmers. He called the increase in the national co-financing rate to 80 percent a historic decision. This decision means that

HUF 2,900 billion (EUR 7.5 billion) will be available for Hungarian farmers in the period up to 2027.

On Saturday, the Agriculture Minister also shared on his Facebook page that 40 tonnes of GMO-contaminated maize seeds from Ukraine have been seized by the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih). Nébih’s January inspection revealed almost 40,000 kilograms of GMO-contaminated maize seeds from Ukraine. The office has initiated proceedings against the distributor and is taking measures to destroy the seeds in accordance with the law, the Minister added.

István Nagy stressed that Hungarian food is among the safest in the world thanks to strict regulations and regular controls, and the Ministry of Agriculture is doing its utmost to ensure that this remains the case. “Only high-quality and safe products can be put on the tables of Hungarian families,” he underlined.

As for the import ban on the Ukrainian grain, it does not affect seeds, and transit consignments will continue to be allowed, but they will be sealed at the border by the competent authorities. Furthermore, as has been the practice so far, the products concerned will be monitored and their route checked throughout the country, the Agriculture Minister concluded.

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Via MTI, Featured image: Pixabay

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