Some EU members are banning Ukrainian goods

Briefly: Hungary has added honey and various meats to a list of Ukrainian products that can’t be imported until at least 30 June. The EU has criticised Hungary’s decision and similar measures from Poland, Slovakia, and Bulgaria.

The seeds of all this tension were planted last year when a Russian blockade in the Black Sea led the EU to cut tariffs on Ukrainian grain, to help Ukraine’s economy. But a flood of cheap Ukrainian wheat has since left EU farmers uncompetitive (and angry).

In March, the EU allocated millions to support farmers along its eastern flank, and on Wednesday, officials suggested topping up with another €100M.

Intrigue’s take: Poland and Slovakia are some of Ukraine’s biggest supporters. But they’ve both got elections this year, and a poke in the EU’s eye can be great politics. As for Hungary, its prime minister is no fan of the EU or Ukraine.

But whatever the motivation, this whole issue risks weakening European unity. And that’s good news for Russia; less so for Ukraine.

Also worth noting:

Latest Author Articles
Western funding for Ukraine under pressure as the war approaches its third calendar year 

The White House warned in a letter to Congress yesterday (Monday) that military and economic assistance to Ukraine will run out by the end of the year without additional funding. Failure to allocate new money would “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield”, according to budget director Shalanda Young.

5 December, 2023
Court forces Panama to shut a key copper mine

Panama’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously (🇵🇦) on Tuesday that the law behind the country’s vast Cobre Panama copper mine was “unconstitutional”.

30 November, 2023
BBC report alleges COP28 host UAE used host status to source oil and gas deals

Documents leaked to the Centre for Climate Reporting suggest UAE officials have sought to leverage their COP28 host country status to push for oil and gas deals, just as the UAE kicks off the COP28 climate talks in Dubai this Thursday.

28 November, 2023
An Israel-Hamas ‘hostages-for-pause’ deal?

Hamas may soon agree to release 50-100 women and children being held as hostages in Gaza, according to Israeli, Qatari, and American officials.

21 November, 2023