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Warsaw imposed additional bans on Ukrainian products, Kyiv may ban Polish vegetables and fruits - Kachka

Hungary has banned 25 more products that were not previously mentioned, but these bans are symbolic. 

Warsaw imposed additional bans on Ukrainian products, Kyiv may ban Polish vegetables and fruits - Kachka
Taras Kachka
Photo: Max Trebukhov

While Slovakia simply extended the EU’s previous ban on four types of grain, Poland imposed additional bans on Ukrainian flour and feed over the weekend. 

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

According to Kachka, Hungary is going even further and banning an additional 25 products that had not been discussed before, including meat.

"These arbitrary prohibitions are ridiculous. I think that Hungary here is making a political statement that it wants to block trade with Ukraine and as well disregard Brussels completely. And that’s why I think that this is a very bold movement against both of us from Budapest," the official said.

While Hungary’s additional bans are mostly symbolic, given that Ukraine does not export much beef or pork to the country, Poland’s measures will affect a significant part of Ukraine’s exports, Kachka said. Unless Warsaw drops these additional bans, “we would be forced to retaliate on the additional products, and would prohibit the import of fruit and vegetables from Poland.”

An EU official told Playbook that Brussels hoped to solve the fight by getting Kyiv to impose its own restrictions on exports in the case of sudden surges.

Asked about that potential deal, Kachka said Kyiv was ready to “take on the responsibility to ensure that export from Ukraine is not creating any tsunami in neighboring countries,” and would impose a system of “real time” export licenses for grains to both “slow down” the exports to neighboring countries and allow Ukraine to “react rapidly” if a surge is detected.

Kyiv will sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their refusal to lift the ban on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products. Ukraine will also appeal to the World Trade Organisation arbitration. Kachka noted that such actions of the countries are legally incorrect and indicate a complete lack of trust in the European Commission. 

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