This Sunday, on the border between Poland and Ukraine, Polish farmers stopped trucks coming from Ukraine and transporting large quantities of grain. Goods carried by heavy goods vehicles were dumped on the roads, causing commotion in Kyiv.
This Monday, February 12, a new crisis erupted after an incident on the common border between Kyiv and Warsaw where disgruntled Polish farmers who blocked the crossing point threw Ukrainian grain onto a road destined for the European Union. This action caused severe reactions in Ukraine. La Dépêche du Midi Back to some points on this controversy.
what happened ?
This Sunday, February 11, Polish farmers stopped a truck carrying Ukrainian grain as it crossed the border and dumped its cargo, protesting what they consider unfair competition from their Ukrainian colleagues.
Embassy of \u2757\ufe0f #Ukraine Poland has turned to the police over the spilled grain incident and a decisive reaction is expected from the Polish side after the incident, as reported by European Pravda, citing the Ukrainian ambassador. #PolandVasyl Zvarych. pic.twitter.com/XEpE9plvDC
— KyivPost (@KyivPost) February 12, 2024
In images shared on social media, we can see piles of grain in the middle of the road, sometimes covered with EU flags, as part of demonstrations organized across Poland against Ukraine’s competition and heavy-handed European regulations.
Ukrainian authorities said they were outraged by the images. Ukraine, a country with a strong agricultural tradition, has been facing Russian aggression for two years. The Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy declared in a press release that it “strongly” condemns the “deliberate destruction” of grain that “has nothing to do with peaceful protest, whether legal or moral”: “We are closely following the investigation. incident and hope the culprits are quickly identified and punished,” he added. “Ukrainian farmers work under constant bombardment from the enemy and suffer heavy losses. They pay a very high price for their crops, sometimes with their lives,” the Ukrainian ministry added, calling on Polish producers to “surrender in Ukraine to see the working conditions of Ukrainians.” ” invited. .
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“The lack of reaction of the Polish authorities to the destruction of the delivery will lead to further xenophobia and political violence,” added Taras Kachka, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Economy. If Warsaw does not react quickly, the “gang” that organized the border blockade will “start killing Ukrainians because they are Ukrainians”, warned Taras Kachka. “It is painful to see Ukrainian grain scattered on the road,” wrote MP Irina Gereshchenko on Facebook. “Bread is sacred to Ukrainians. Our genetic memory holds the horrors of the Holodomor within us.”
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The European Commission signaled on Monday that it was “continuing” to find “solutions” that would make it possible to maintain “maximum economic support for Ukraine”, which has been devastated by two years of war. “We believe that the work should be done not at the border, not under pressure, but at the negotiating table,” said commission spokesman Olof Gill.
Poland has been one of Ukraine’s biggest supporters since the Russian invasion, but Warsaw’s unilateral ban on grain imports has damaged relations between the allies. Polish police said they are investigating the case. The evidence collected “will be sent to the Chelm district prosecutor’s office today for a criminal law evaluation regarding further action in this case,” local police spokeswoman Eva Sees said.
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In recent days, authorities in Warsaw have raised the possibility of imposing new import restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products to protect their farmers. Poland banned imports of Ukrainian grain under the previous nationalist PiS government, but maintained the ban after a new pro-EU coalition came to power in October 2023.