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Fidesz MEP: Hungarian farmers must not be made to pay price of help to Ukraine

The fact that Ukraine is currently unable to safely export agricultural products must not result in Hungarian farmers paying the price of aid offered to war-torn Ukraine, at a time when they are unable to sell their own produce, Hungarian MEP Eniko Gyori said on Tuesday.

She told Hungarian journalists at the scene of a protest organised by farmers from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in Brussels that an agreement had been signed with the European Commission concerning the imports of agricultural products from Ukraine. The agreement required the affected countries to join forces and farmers to make their voices heard in order to make the Brussels body keep its promise.

The Commission must address the issue, Gyori said, arguing that “it cannot depend on the war in Ukraine whether the grain stored by Hungarian farmers remains in their stores unsold and whether Ukrainian agricultural goods get to those in need in Africa and other parts of the world”.

MEP Balazs Hidveghi said in a statement that it was “unacceptable” that the EC had forced poorly prepared and ill-conceived measures on member states, causing serious damage to farmers in central Europe. He noted massive support provided to the Ukrainian state and its people. He called on the European Commission “to pay a lot more attention to the protection of the European people’s interests”. “We will not allow our farmers to be pushed to the brink of collapse because of their irresponsible decision,” Hidveghi said.

Hungary’s agriculture ministry issued a statement, saying that it supports the farmers who went to stage a protest in Brussels. In the statement, Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy praised the farmers “calling on the European Union to take the steps against the influx of Ukrainian grain seriously and to extend the ban until the end of the year”.

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