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EU announces Ukraine grain deal after import bans by five member countries

The European Commission announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement with five EU states, including Poland and Hungary, to guarantee the transit of Ukrainian cereals, after import bans imposed by these countries and deemed "unacceptable" by Brussels .

"This agreement preserves both Ukraine's export capacity so that it continues to feed the world, and the livelihoods of our farmers" in the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

The agreement provides for the end of unilateral import bans, in exchange for "exceptional safeguard measures" concerning four Ukrainian products deemed "the most sensitive": wheat, corn, rapeseed, sunflower seeds.

Poland, quickly imitated by Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, unilaterally banned cereals and other agricultural products imported from Ukraine in mid-April, saying it wanted to protect its farmers.

A showdown was then opened with the Commission, which alone has the power to determine the EU's trade policy.