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Hungary, Neighbors Turn to EC Pres Over Flood of Ukrainian Grain

Analysis

Photo by Nikolett Emmert / Shutterstock.com

The prime ministers of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania, and the president of Bulgaria, have asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to take steps to manage the "untenable" situation caused by increased grain imports from Ukraine, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said in a statement issued on Saturday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The European Union decision to waive customs duties on Ukrainian farm products to expedite their export has resulted in an "unprecedented" volume of grain and oilseed imports in neighboring countries, Nagy said. Ukrainian farmers have also started exporting a large volume of poultry, eggs and honey to the EU, "squeezing out" Hungarian products from their traditional markets and driving farm gate prices lower, he added.

In the letter, the leaders asked von der Leyen to raise the allocation of resources for affected farmers, weigh EU purchases of their grain for humanitarian purposes and roll back exemptions from customs duties and import quotas.

Nagy said it "isn't fair" that farmers in countries neighbouring Ukraine should "pay the price" of the solidarity corridor opened for Ukrainian farm exports by all 27 member states.

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