Hungary’s government, on its own authority, has decided to maintain the ban on Ukrainian grain produce and expand it to include rapeseed, sunflower seeds, flour, cooking oil, honey, eggs and some meat products, the agriculture minister said on Saturday.
The European Union ban on certain Ukrainian products expired on Sept. 15, but the moratorium must be maintained to prevent the disruption of markets, István Nagy said in a video posted on Facebook. A glut of cheap Ukrainian products on neighbouring markets could take up warehouse capacity from domestic products in the autumn harvest period, and Hungarian farmers would face even greater difficulties, he said.
At the same time, Ukrainian produce will be delivered to traditional markets in Africa and the Arab Peninsula, to prevent a “famine triggering a wave of migration with unforeseeable consequences,” he said. The agriculture ministry has proposed establishing a fund to aid transit to ensure that Ukrainian products find their way out of Europe, he said.
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“Large Ukrainian agricultural companies owned by international corporations are not aiming to trade with third-world countries but to rule European markets, which is going to land the farmers of all member states in serious difficulties,” Nagy said.
European citizens have an interest in products produced under controlled circumstances, he said. “It is sad to see that Brussels can’t see that and supports Ukrainian producers rather than European farmers,” he said. “We will continue to protect the interests of Hungarian farmers,” he added.
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