A ban on Ukrainian grain put in place by neighboring countries is costing Kyiv more than $175 million a month, a senior official said.
Ukraine's neighbors — which include Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania — have said that the arrival of cheap Ukrainian grain has distorted local markets. In some countries, farmers have protested and blocked roads to demand that the imports cease.
"If the bans continue, the losses could reach about €600 million ($644 million) by the end of the year," said Denys Marchuk, the deputy chairman of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council.
"For us, as a country at war, as a country that has been selling its products well below market prices for a year and a half, the possibility of losing export prospects is very problematic," he added.
Marchuk said the embargo by other countries "plays into the hands of one country, the aggressor country of Russia." Since pulling out of the Black Sea Grain deal in July, Russia has had the ability to "influence the course of ships in the Black Sea, does not allow Ukraine to fully export."
"The ban in the Black Sea and the inability to carry out full exports via land routes will provoke an aggravation of the food crisis, which is beneficial for Russia," Marchuk said.
Ukraine has already taken some legal action: Kyiv filed a lawsuit on Monday against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia over their ban on imports, Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko said.
It came after the European Union said on Friday that it planned to suspend the temporary ban on the export of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The measure was put in place to counter the risk of farmers in these countries being undercut by a bottleneck of cheap Ukrainian grain. However, Poland, Hungry, and Slovakia said they would defy it.