20 Apr 2023 10:04

Ukrainian Railways restricts food shipments to Slovakia

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Railways has imposed a temporary ban on shipments of foodstuffs to Slovakia, Ukrainian media reported, citing the company's website.

The company is no longer accepting freight for shipment for Slovak operator ZSSK Cargo. The ban applies to a long list of products, including grains, legumes, oil crops, vegetables, fruit, sugar, pure alcohol and honey.

The ban went into effect on April 19 and will be in place indefinitely.

Slovakia imposed a ban on imports of grain and some other agricultural products from Ukraine as of April 19, but it did not restrict their transit across its territory. The ban applies to grains, sugar, dry feed, hops, flax, hemp, fruit, vegetables, processed fruit and vegetable products, as well as wine, ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, honey and apiculture products.

Ukrainian Railways earlier imposed a number of restrictions on shipments of agricultural products to Poland. A temporary ban was imposed from April 17 to June 30 on shipments of a broad range of agricultural products to Polish railways, including grains and legumes, seeds, starch, flour, sugar, meal and feed for animals, fruit, vegetables, nuts, wine, animal products and live animals, dairy products, canned goods, fats, oil, honey, tea, coffee and a number of other products.

The company said the list was compiled in line with the list from the appendix to the April 15 order of Polish Economic Development and Technology Minister Waldemar Buda with which Poland banned imports of several dozen types of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Unprecedented amounts of Ukrainian grain and oilseed crops are arriving and staying in European Union countries bordering Ukraine. Moreover, Ukraine has begun to export more poultry meat, eggs and honey to Europe, Hungary's Agriculture Ministry said earlier.

The ministers of the four Visegrad Group countries - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, as well as Romania and Bulgaria held online talks on the situation with Ukrainian grain on April 14.

After the talks, Slovak Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan said he plans to propose at the Agrifish Council of EU agriculture ministers to use an EU instrument with the help of which Ukrainian grain was bought in cooperation with the UN World Food Program. This will help Ukraine in a difficult situation while at the same time protecting the EU market from cheap Ukrainian goods, he said.