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Ukraine files WTO complaints against Poland, Slovakia and Hungary over food export ban

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Ukrainian flag and grain

(Reuters) - Ukraine has filed complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Slovakia and Hungary over their bans on food imports from Ukraine, a senior government minister said in Kyiv on Monday.

Yulia Svyrydenko, first deputy prime minister, said Ukraine saw such restrictions as a violation of the EU countries' international obligations.

"For us, it is critically important to prove that individual member-states cannot ban imports of Ukrainian goods. And that is why we have filed suits through the WTO," Svyrydenko said in a statement on a government website.

"At the same time, we hope that these states will rescind their restrictions and there will be no need for us to settle our relations in the courts over long period of time," she said. "We need solidarity with them and to defend the interests of farmers."

The three countries announced their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports on Friday after the European Commission decided not to extend its ban on imports into Ukraine's five EU eastern European member states.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Ron Popeski and Leslie Adler)