Agriculture Minister István Nagy said Hungary will be able to maintain an import ban on grain from Ukraine despite the fact that no decision has so far been made at a meeting of the European Union’s agricultural council about how to combat the internal market crisis caused by grain from Ukraine.
During a break from the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg on Wednesday, Minister Nagy said talks were progressing in the right direction. The EU has accepted the measures introduced by member states that banned Ukrainian agricultural products after a unilateral decision, he added. The EU has recognised the severity of the situation, understood member states’ decisions, and is seeking solutions that will enable maintaining the measures, he said. Minister Nagy said further talks were needed about additional products to be affected by the import ban on top of the five proposed by the EU, which are wheat, maize, sunflower seeds, rapeseed and sunflower oil. Hungary wants guarantees for keeping the ban in force until the end of December, he added. Commenting on the EU’s 100 million euro fund to help farmers, Nagy said talks were also underway about how to increase the amount. Ways must be found to ensure that Ukrainian grain reaches its traditional markets, the countries in need, he added. Hungary has proposed that the EU should also support transit shipments, he said. Hungary will continue the negotiations until a solution is found to guarantee the security of Hungarian farmers and that they get compensation for the damage suffered, he added.