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Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Ukraine has filed lawsuits against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for banning imports of its agricultural products, Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko said in a statement on Monday.

“It is of crucial importance for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban imports of Ukrainian products. This is why we are taking legal action against them at the World Trade Organization (WTO). At the same time, we hope that these countries will lift their restrictions and we will not have to settle the matter in court for a long time,” Svyrydenko said.

The lawsuit comes after the European Union announced on Friday its intention to suspend the temporary ban on the export of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The measure was put in place to counter the risk that farmers in these countries would be penalized by a bottleneck of cheap Ukrainian grain.

However, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have said they will defy him. CNN has contacted the Ministry of Agriculture of Poland, the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary and the Ministry of Agriculture of Slovakia for comment.

Ukraine calls this situation a “violation by the three EU countries of their international obligations”. He asked EU members “to coordinate and harmonize trade policy, as this falls within the exclusive competence of the EU,” according to the statement.

Ukraine’s trade representative, Taras Kachka, told Politico that such acts of defiance show a lack of unity within the bloc and pose a “systemic concern.”

“I think the whole world should see how EU member states behave towards their trading partners and their own Union, because this can also influence other states,” Kachka said.

Spain’s agriculture minister warned that the move by Poland, Slovakia and Hungary could be illegal.

“The fact that a member country – I am not judging a member country, but any member country – takes unilateral measures to restrict access to the single market, seems to me to be against the law,” Luis said Planas Puchades. ” he told reporters on his way to a meeting of European agriculture ministers in Brussels.

Puchades said it would be up to the European Commission to judge whether the unilateral bans are illegal, adding that Commission representatives would inform ministers of possible follow-up measures on Monday afternoon.

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy contributed reporting to this post.