It Is Not True that the EU Banned Imports of Ukrainian Wheat in Five Member-States
The post we fact-checked is falsely claiming that the EU has banned the imports of wheat from Ukraine in some Member-States. On the contrary, the EU opposed the unilateral decisions of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to temporarily ban the import of grain from Ukraine in order to protect their own farmers once a mutually acceptable agreement on 28th April. This Agreement preserves the export capacity of Ukraine to continue feeding the world, as well as the livelihood of the farmers in the EU
A Facebook post claims (screenshot here) that the EU banned the imports of Ukrainian wheat in five EU Member-States and alludes that the product was harmful, hence the ban. But this is not true. The EU has not banned imports, and the five Member-States did that upon their own initiative.
The EU banned the imports of Ukrainian wheat into the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria… Be careful what you buy!!!…
The post on the social network Facebook falsely claims that the European Union banned the imports of Ukrainian wheat into the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The EU did not ban the imports, but on the contrary, it opposed the individual decisions of the five Member-States – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria – to temporarily ban the import of Ukrainian grain in order to protect their own farmers.
With the sentence “be careful what you buy” the post insinuates that the import ban was imposed because the wheat was harmful, hence the majority of comments under the post, such as these:
MACEDONIA WILL BE THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL BUY UKRAINIAN WHEAT… NO MATTER THAT IT WILL BE RADIOACTIVE… FROM THE DEPLETED URANIUM USED BY THE UKRAINIANS
In the upcoming period, nobody will buy the Ukro-fascist wheat because the Brits have, allegedly, started helping them with depleted uranium missiles that will pollute the soil and water, everything.
However, this is not true. No ban was imposed due to the quality of the products.
Two months ago, five EU Member-States – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria – requested, in writing, from the European Commission help for their farmers and food producers who had suffered because of the cheap imports from Ukraine. Consequently, end of March, the EU agreed an aid package worth 56 million Euros available to Member-States to compensate farmers.
Mid-April, first Poland and then the other four Member-States unilaterally banned cereals and other agricultural products imported from Ukraine, saying that they wanted to protect their own farmers.
After two weeks of intensive negotiations, Brussels announced an agreement on the Ukrainian grain that apparently protects Ukraine’s economy but also the livelihood of EU farmers.
Last Friday, the European Commission announced that it reached an agreement with five EU Member-States, including Poland and Hungary, to ensure Ukrainian grain transit following the import bans imposed by these countries which Brussels considered “unacceptable”.
This agreement also preserves Ukraine’s export capacity so that it will continue to feed the world, as well as the livelihood of our farmers in the EU, tweeted the President of the European Comission, Ursula von der Leyen.
I welcome the agreement in principle found on the transit of 4 types of Ukrainian grain and seeds.
A deal that preserves both Ukraine’s exports capacity so it continues feeding the world, and our farmers’ livelihoods.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 28, 2023
The agreement foresees the end of the unilateral import bans in exchange for “exclusive safeguards” for four Ukrainian products: wheat, corn, beet seeds, and sunflower seeds.
The publication of this manipulative and untrue post was subject of a fact-check from 2nd May, which is four days after the EU reached an agreement with the five Member-States that temporarily banned the import of grain from Ukraine.
Due to the facts noted above, we assess the claim that the EU banned the import of wheat from Ukraine for some Member-States as untrue. Quite the opposite, the EU opposed such unilateral decisions of the government of these Member-States once they reached a mutually acceptable agreement.