Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said the Hungarian government proposes that the European Union should extend its ban on grain imports from Ukraine beyond Sept. 15.
Gulyás said should the EU reject the proposal, Hungary will introduce the measures it applied earlier, similarly to Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. Hopefully, the EU would find a solution, he said, adding that “destroying the agriculture of countries bordering Ukraine is not European solidarity.” Gulyás noted that Europe’s introduction of a “solidarity corridor” for Ukrainian grain imports had resulted in imports increasing to a monthly 250,000 tonnes in 2023, from an annual 40,000-50,000 tonnes before the war. “The problem is that the EU’s rules forced Ukraine’s neighbours only to exercise solidarity rather than the whole of the community.” Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia therefore decided to “close their borders to Ukrainian grain”, he noted. Hungary is consulting every country on introducing national import bans, particularly the four other countries bordering Ukraine, if the EU ban is not extended, but Hungary’s decision would not depend on what they decide. Poland would “certainly” introduce a measure identical to Hungary’s, he added.