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Ukraine to sue Poland, Hungary, Slovakia over extension of grain import ban

The trials will start tomorrow. 

Ukraine to sue Poland, Hungary, Slovakia over extension of grain import ban
Photo: EPA/UPG

Kyiv will sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their refusal to lift the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products. Ukraine will appeal to the World Trade Organisation arbitration.

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, said in an interview with POLITICO.

"It is important to prove that these actions are legally wrong. That's why tomorrow we will start legal proceedings," Kachka said on Sunday evening.

According to him, Kyiv is preparing to respond with actions against the export of Polish fruits and vegetables.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have said they will impose their own bans on Ukrainian grain after the European Commission's decision to lift the restrictions. "To our minds, these measures by Hungary and Poland are a statement of complete distrust of the European Commission," the official said.

Kachka emphasised that open disobedience to Brussels by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia is not only an internal EU matter, but has raised "the biggest systemic concern" - whether international trading partners can trust that Brussels represents the EU.

"For many years, the European Commission has been the organiser of trade negotiations and the institution of trade policy for the entire EU. And we are used to working on this basis," Kachka said.

"The systematic approach of Budapest and Warsaw to ignore the position of the EU institutions in trade policy, I think, will be a problem for the EU as a whole, because there is no unity there," he added.

Kyiv plans to sue countries in the World Trade Organisation, not through its own trade agreement with the EU. "I think the whole world needs to see how EU member states behave towards their trading partners and their own Union, because it can affect other countries," the trade representative said.

A meeting will be held today with representatives of all interested EU countries on the issue of grain. 

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