BUDAPEST – In a move signaling growing trade tensions within the European Union, Hungary announced a ban on the import of 24 Ukrainian products, including wheat, various meats, and vegetables, effective from September 16.

The decision, published in Friday’s Magyar Közlöny and reported by Hungarian news website, comes as a direct response to the EU’s recent decision to lift its ban on the import of Ukrainian grain. Hungary’s Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy, expressed concerns that an influx of cheap Ukrainian imports could overwhelm storage capacities and hinder domestic sales, especially with the upcoming autumn harvest.

Nagy criticized the EU’s stance, noting that Brussels disregarded the pleas of Eastern European farmers who sought continued restrictions on Ukrainian imports.

He emphasized Hungary’s commitment to protecting its farmers, stating, “If cheap Ukrainian imports were to flood the markets of the member states neighboring Ukraine again, there would not be enough storage capacity to store the crops of the autumn harvest, sales to the domestic market would be impossible, and then farmers would have to face even greater difficulties, but we cannot stand idly by.”

The move underscores the challenges the EU faces in balancing the interests of its member states, especially when it comes to trade relations with neighboring countries. Government officials from Poland and Slovakia have stated that they will also be extending the ban on Ukrainian imports.

Source/s: / European Commission / Reuters

Image source: Agrárminisztérium Sajtóosztály / Jernej Furman

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The Southeast European Observer does not engage in original reporting. We are a dedicated group blog that bridges the information gap between Southeast Europe and the world. Our primary goal is to provide concise, accurate, and contextual summaries of news from 10 countries in Southeast Europe: Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia.