The bans by the three Central European countries are designed to protect domestic farmers from cheap Ukrainian grain imports, following Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, Politico said in an article published on Monday.
It quoted Ukraine’s Trade Representative Taras Kachka as saying that "these actions are legally wrong" and that his country would "start legal proceedings."
Kachka added that Kyiv was preparing to retaliate against Polish fruit and vegetable exports, Politico reported.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that his country would extend its ban on the import of Ukrainian grain after the European Union's executive Commission decided to lift an embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain to five member states including Poland.
Hungary and Slovakia also said they would impose their own bans on Ukrainian grain following the European Commission’s decision to end its restrictions, Politico reported.
“In our eyes these measures of Hungary and Poland is a statement of total distrust to the European Commission,” Ukraine's Kachka said on Sunday evening, as quoted by Politico.
"For many years, it’s been the European Commission who is the trade negotiator and trade policy institution for the whole EU," Kachka was also quoted as saying. "And we used to work on this basis."
He added: “The systemic approach of Budapest and Warsaw of ignoring the position of the EU institutions in trade policy, I think that will be a problem for the EU in general, because there is no unity there.”
Kyiv plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday, according to Politico.
“I think that all the world should see how member states in the EU behave towards trade partners and their own Union, because it can influence other states as well,” Kachka said, according to the article.
Meanwhile, Poland's President Andrzej Duda has said he plans to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday to discuss issues including Ukrainian grain exports.
During a meeting in Warsaw earlier this year, Duda vowed that Poland would continue to support Ukraine and seek additional NATO security guarantees for Kyiv as it defends itself against Russian aggression.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.
Monday is day 572 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: IAR, politico.com