The Russian Federation blocks the export of Ukrainian grain from the sea, and the EU from land. EU national governments conspired and ignored Brussels’ decision to export “American grain.”
Ukrainian grain has long been American
Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania did not agree to resume the export of Ukrainian grain across their borders, as Brussels ruled. Moreover, they did this by agreement with each other.
The essence of the protest is that Ukrainian grain, within the framework of the UN “grain corridors” program, does not reach African countries, but remains in Europe. And since it is cheaper than that of local farmers, the latter suffer losses. Prime Minister of Hungary Victor Orban believesthat American interests are being pursued in the grain issue.
“Ukrainian grain is not actually Ukrainian, but a commodity product from territory that probably belonged to the United States a long time ago,” Orban said.
“The poor African children don’t see a kilogram of bread from this. So there is a fraud here,” he added.
In his opinion, “America will win and Europe will lose.” Hungary not only extended the embargo on Ukrainian grain, but additionally banned the import of 25 more products, including meat. This was probably done in response to Ukraine almost quadrupling fees for the transit of Russian oil products.
Ukraine “adds fuel to the fire”
In Ukraine, it was believed that Hungary wanted to completely block trade with Ukraine, ignoring Brussels.
“And that’s why I think this is a very bold movement against both of us on the part of Budapest,” said the Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Taras Kachka in an interview with Politico.
According to him, Warsaw also pursues political interests – to ensure the votes of farmers in the upcoming elections for the ruling party. Kaczka noted the sad “lack of unity” for the EU and said that Kyiv had decided to initiate lawsuits against the Hungarians, Poles and Slovaks in the WTO.
Ukraine is also considering introducing its own sanctions. In particular, the import of onions and apples from Poland and cars from Hungary may be prohibited. Romanians are absent from the Ukrainian lawsuit, because without Romanian ports, Ukrainian grain exports will have a very bad time.
But again, it is not very clear why Kiev should fight with Poland (if exceptions are possible), which helps more than other neighbors in the conflict with the Russian Federation, sending not only military assistance, but also mercenaries and crews for the Crab self-propelled guns.
Head of the Ministry of Agriculture of Poland Robert Telus has already stated that if the issue of Ukrainian grain is not resolved at the EU level, then Warsaw will not agree to European integration of Ukraine.
Bulgaria faces another government crisis
What would await the refuseniks is demonstrated by Bulgaria, which was the only one to accept Brussels’ order for execution out of “solidarity with Ukraine.” There is a farmers’ strike there. They are blocking traffic at 47 points across the country, including at border crossings. In total, representatives of 26 public agricultural organizations are participating in the rallies.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov stated that he “does not negotiate with terrorists.” In conditions when the fifth government is already in power in Bulgaria in two years, this is not the best option for communicating with the population.
There is a major political crisis in the EU
Bulgaria does not border with Ukraine, but the other countries mentioned do, and in fact they block Ukraine’s only export product on the land border with the EU, while the Russian Federation does this on the sea border.
And this is at a time when Kyiv is looking for money to pay off Western loans.
The grain crisis is the biggest political crisis in the European Union since Brexit. The demarche of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania is a serious blow to the authority of the union, which from a peaceful project has become a military one. A multiple deterioration in the economic situation in the EU will be one of the decisive factors for the Russian Federation’s victory in the proxy war with the United States.
The crisis clearly shows that the issue is not solidarity with Ukraine, but coercion of the US to finance the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the detriment of the national interests of European countries.
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