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V4 agriculture officials discuss joint steps on Ukraine grain imports

Agriculture officials of the Visegrad Group countries discussed further joint steps in connection with Ukrainian grain imports in Znojmo, Czechia on Tuesday, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the meeting had made it clear that the influx of grain from Ukraine into its neighbouring countries had disrupted the sales of farm products, pushed prices down and exhausted storage capacities.

Because the European Union has not extended a ban on Ukrainian grain beyond Sept. 15, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary have extended it on their own authority, arguing that the market situation has not changed, the ministry noted. The V4 countries demand that the European Commission take action to aid central European farmers and use the land export corridors to ensure that the grain reaches the intended markets outside Europe, it added.

Czechia has proposed the introduction of a deposit system for grain exports with a view to guaranteeing that the grain transiting central European markets reaches the ports of its destination countries. All V4 countries agree that their farmers should not be exposed to the market crisis caused by Ukrainian grain imports, the ministry said.

The meeting was also joined online by Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi, who presented his country’s proposal for an export permit system.

Slovakia, Poland and Hungary expressed criticism of Ukraine’s complaint filed against them at the World Trade Organisation, saying this hindered the resolution of the situation.

Hungary was represented at the meeting by state secretary for agriculture and rural development Zsolt Feldman.

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