The countries of the Visegrád Group agreed on further joint measures against Ukrainian grain imports at a meeting of agriculture ministers in Znojmo, Czech Republic, where Hungary was represented by Zsolt Feldman, State Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development.
The participants of the meeting agreed that the situation on the grain market is similar in all countries neighboring Ukraine. There are obstacles to the sale of crops, prices are low, storage capacities are full, and producers are in a difficult situation.
In the absence of an EU regulation, the Poles, Slovaks, and Hungarians continue to restrict imports after September 15 through national legislation, as the market situation has not changed.
The countries of the Visegrád Group are demanding that the European Commission finally take real action to help Central European farmers and make real use of land transport corridors to markets outside Europe, and transit aid to help Ukrainian goods into ports.
A Czech proposal was made to regulate the operators in the grain trade to ensure transit,
to introduce a deposit system to guarantee the arrival of transit through Central European markets at the ports.
All countries are of the opinion that they do not want to expose their producers to the market crisis and the uncertainty that their livelihoods are threatened by Ukrainian grain imports. The termination of the Black Sea grain deal will clearly increase pressure on land transport routes, the Ministry of Agriculture wrote in a statement.
FactThe Black Sea Grains Initiative was negotiated in July 2022, between Turkey, the United Nations, and Russia to ensure that Ukraine can transport its grain out of its southern ports via the Bosphorus Strait. Grain could not be exported in the required quantities by alternative methods, such as via Poland by road or rail, or via Romania by canal and river. The deal expired in the summer of 2023, and was not extended to allow the shipment of Ukrainian agricultural products to southern European Member States, Africa, and the Middle East.
At the invitation of the Czech organizers, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi joined the meeting online to present the Ukraine’s proposal for an export licensing system. Ukraine’s complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary is considered unfortunate by the countries concerned, as it will only hinder the resolution of the situation. All participants unanimously stressed the need for a unified solution at the EU level, the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture concluded.
Via MTI, Featured image:Pixabay