Croatia won’t import Ukrainian grain, says prime minister

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Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said his country will not import Ukrainian grain and did not rule out a ban on such imports in line with Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

“Croatia’s stance and desire is that we are a transit country, not a country receiving enormous amounts of Ukrainian grain that is cheaper than ours, which would mean our farmers are in trouble,” Croatian national broadcaster HINA quoted Plenković as saying.

Kyiv launched legal action on Monday against the three European Union countries at the World Trade Organization, over their refusal to drop a ban on Ukrainian agricultural products.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia implemented unilateral bans to protect their domestic agricultural industries from a surge in cheap grain exports from Ukraine, defying the European Commission, which last Friday decided to allow Ukrainian grain sales across the EU.

When asked whether Croatia would implement a similar ban, Plenković would not say, but reiterated that Croatian ports were currently facilitating the passage of Ukrainian grain to third countries, according to reports.

Croatia offered use of its seaports to Ukraine while the latter’s access to the Black Sea is blocked by Russia, amid the Kremlin’s ongoing war.

It is not known how much grain has been exported via Croatian ports, but the route is “already popular,” Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said earlier this month.