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UKRAINE: Zelensky says possible extension of EU import ban on grain 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday branded as “unacceptable” any move by the European Union to extend curbs on Ukrainian grain to protect local farmers who fear being undercut.

“Any extension of restrictions is absolutely unacceptable and frankly anti-European. Europe has the institutional capacity to react more rationally than to close its borders to a particular good,” he said on social media.

Zelensky said he hoped Europe “will fulfil its obligations” after the current restrictions on Ukrainian grain lapse on September 15.

Last week, Ukraine’s European neighbours urged the EU to extend a grain import ban until the end of the year, amid fears local farmers would suffer due to diverted Ukrainian supplies.

In June, Brussels agreed to allow Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania to restrict imports of grain from Ukraine through September.

Zelenksy’s statement came after Russia refused to renew a deal allowing the safe passage of grain from Ukrainian ports throught the Black Sea, saying that its exports were being hampered by Western sanctions in violation of the agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

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Naija Times