Slovakia approves ban on some Ukraine farm products, maintains transit

April 17, 2023 05:37 PM MSK | By Reuters
Image source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Slovakia's government banned the import of grains and other farm products from Ukraine on Monday, but will keep borders open for transit to third markets, Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan said on Monday.

Vlcan told a televised news conference restrictive measures to ban grain imports imposed by Poland at the weekend had led to the Slovak ban.

"Poland has adopted very strict bans and we thus had to react to protect the Slovak market in those farm products and foods where we have self-sufficiency," he said.

"It is a measure for the protection of the Slovak agro-food sector and mainly the health of consumer," he said.

Slovakia banned the distribution of a batch of Ukrainian grain last week after it detected higher-than-allowed levels of pesticides in the shipment.

Vlcan did not present the full list of farm products and food, but a proposal for Monday's cabinet meeting included wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, sugar beet and sugar, wine, fruits and vegetables, sunflower seeds, rapeseed, honey, and others.

The government said it would continue to allow transit of Ukrainian grains and other products under an EU initiative to help Ukraine export its production despite the Russian invasion, he said.

Vlcan said Slovakia was pushing for the creation of a European mechanism to buy Ukrainian products in Ukraine and ship them outside the European Union.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet in Prague; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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