Ukraine on Wednesday warned that bans on its grain exports imposed by some EU countries were helping Russia’s President Vladimir Putin divide Europe.
Several of Ukraine’s neighbors, including staunch ally Poland, imposed temporary restrictions on Kyiv’s agricultural products last month.
“Continuation of restrictions means putting additional weapons in Putin’s hands against unity in Europe,” the Ukrainian agriculture ministry said on Twitter.
“Current restrictions must be cancelled.”
European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski on Tuesday called for restrictions on grain imports imposed by some EU states to be extended at least until the end of October.
They are currently set to end on June 5.
Russia’s invasion last year severely limited the traditional export channel of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, necessitating export overland via Ukraine’s neighbors.
Member states agreed to allow the import of certain products from Ukraine without quantitative restrictions, and without customs and official inspections.
But farmers in some EU countries protested after a slump in prices, prompting a raft of restrictions and bans on Ukraine’s food exports in response.
The EU eventually made an agreement with the five states involved -- Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania -- to allow them to block the import of grain from Ukraine.
The restrictions have been contested by 12 EU countries including France and Germany, who expressed concerns over a “lack of transparency” and warned it risked undermining Europe’s single market.