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Communication on Grain Issue: Slovakia and Ukraine Come to Agreement

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Bratislava, April 28 – Slovak leader Zuzana Chaputova said on Friday that Slovakia and Ukraine agreed to close contacts on the situation with Ukrainian grain in order to protect the interests of the two countries.
“We discussed this issue (lovingly) with President Zelensky, and agreed on the need for closer contact between our government, between our heads of government in order to protect the interests of the two countries,” Chaputova said during a joint meeting. Statement by the Presidents of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
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She indicated that Slovakia did not prohibit the transit of grain from Ukraine through its territory, but the reason for the restrictions that were imposed was quality problems or phytosanitary standards for imported grain.
Earlier, the head of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture, Samuel Vlchan, stated that the losses of Slovak farmers due to the situation with Ukrainian agricultural products that have settled on the European market amounted to about 200 million euros. In mid-April, Slovakia imposed a ban on the import of some products from Ukraine. The Slovak Ministry of Agriculture stated that the duration of the ban has not been specified and will depend on the situation. The agency also clarified a list of 30 items banned for import from Ukraine, including wheat, rye, barley, soybeans, several types of seeds, processed fruits, and vegetable products. The Ministry of Agriculture also informed that shipments of agricultural products passing from Ukraine through the territory of Slovakia will be sealed.
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The Ministry of Agriculture of Slovakia stated that a pesticide was found in one of the batches of Ukrainian grain, which may adversely affect human health. In particular, it was about 1.5 thousand tons of wheat. After that, Slovakia imposed a strict ban on processing and bringing to the market already existing Ukrainian grain and flour. The Ministry of Agriculture also stated that all shipments of grain and flour imported into Slovakia from Ukraine will be sampled. Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger also raised the issue of Ukrainian wheat exports during a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky. Heger noted that measures must be taken to ensure that Ukrainian wheat does not remain on the European market and that domestic producers are not discriminated against. According to the Slovak government, Zelensky promised to negotiate with the exporters so that they would not abuse the situation.
At the end of March, the prime ministers of a number of EU countries turned to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, with a request to intervene in the crisis caused by the flow of grain from Ukraine. The message from the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia indicated that “the problems are associated with a significant increase in the supply of Ukrainian products to the markets of EU member states, especially those bordering or neighboring Ukraine.” In particular, “an unprecedented growth of imports of grain and seeds.” Oil, eggs, poultry, sugar, apple juice, berries, apples, flour, honey, pasta.”
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