Hungarian Agriculture Minister István Nagy said on Wednesday that his country had agreed with Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria that the four countries would impose national bans on Ukrainian grain imports to protect their markets if the EU does not extend the ban, which expires on 15 September, Reuters reports.
Ukraine has become completely dependent on alternative routes to the European Union for grain exports after Russia in July reneged on an agreement that allowed Ukrainian grain to be safely transported through its Black Sea ports.
As a result, farmers in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia have faced increased competition in their own markets.
Agriculture Minister István Nagy wrote on Facebook that the new national ban would apply to a wider range of Ukrainian products than the current measures.
"We have agreed with my Romanian, Slovak and Bulgarian colleagues that if Brussels does not decide to extend the existing moratorium, we will take national measures individually," Nagy said in a video message.
Five countries have pushed for an extension of the current EU ban after it expires on Friday, with Poland and Hungary saying they would unilaterally extend the ban if the Commission does not extend it.
In May, the European Commission announced "temporary preventive measures" that would ban sales to these five countries while allowing transit to markets outside the EU, mainly Africa. The measures are set to expire on Friday.
The Polish government has adopted a resolution to ban grain imports from Ukraine after 15 September. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he had sent an ultimatum to the European Commission.
Earlier, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine would appeal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arbitration if Poland extends the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain after 15 September.