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EU set to extend trade ban on Ukrainian seed

The EU will probably extend a ban on the free trade of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, Janusz Wojciechowski, the EU commissioner for agriculture, said on Monday.

On April 28, the European Commission (EC) reached an agreement with the five countries, which had imposed import bans owing to a glut of Ukrainian grain depressing prices on their domestic markets.

The EU had contested the bans, arguing that commercial policy decisions were the sole competency of the EU.

Under the agreement, Ukrainian grain transiting the five countries will have additional safeguards to prevent its sale on the domestic markets of the five states in return for the countries withdrawing their unilateral bans.

“By all indications the EU will agree to extend… the ban on free trade in (Ukrainian – PAP) wheat, maize, rape and sunflower seeds in the five countries,” Wojciechowski told the Polish Radio Zet broadcaster.

The EU’s current ban on Ukrainian grain and a number of other agricultural products expires on June 5.

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