Bulgaria will temporarily ban food imports from Ukraine save for transit products, Galab Donev, the Prime Minister of the caretaker government said, the Bulgarian National Radio said.
According to the official, significant amounts of food products that remained in the country over the past year disrupted food chains, Donev said. The current situation may pose a serious threat to Bulgarian businesses, he added.
Bulgaria has thus temporarily banned imports of Ukrainian grain following Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Bulgaria remains in solidarity with Ukraine, Donev said, but "the bankruptcy of Bulgarian agricultural producers will not help this cause."
Bulgaria's temporary ban on food imports from Ukraine will be in effect from April 24 to June 30.
The authorities of Romania also consider restricting food imports from Ukraine.
In early April, five countries — Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — turned to the EU authorities with a request to buy excessive stocks of Ukrainian food products from them. Due to the flow from Ukraine, the cost of their own products has fallen, while prices on fertilizers and energy were rising, they claimed.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia subsequently imposed restrictions on Ukrainian food imports. The European Commission criticised the move. Kyiv also expressed regret about such restrictions.
It was later reported, however, that the European Commission was ready to ban grain imports from Ukraine against the backdrop of excessive stocks of Ukrainian food in a number of European countries, Polskie Radio 24 said with reference to EU officials.
The European Commission will need Ukraine's consent to implement such emergency measures as the decision could be appealed at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
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