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kyiv slams Polish farmers dumping Ukrainian grain

Photo: Czarek Sokolowski Associated Press Farmers driving tractors during a protest in Poznań, Poland, February 9, 2024

Stanislav Doshchitsyn – Agence France-Presse and Magdelena Paciorek – Agence France-Presse respectively in kyiv and Warsaw

10:13 a.m.

  • Europe

A new crisis erupted on Monday between Kiev and Warsaw after an incident at the common border, where disgruntled Polish farmers blocking crossing points dumped Ukrainian grain destined for the Union onto the road European.

This action aroused strong reactions in Ukraine, a country with a strong agricultural tradition that has been facing the Russian invasion for two years and where millions of people died in 1932-1933, during the Great Famine, the Holodomor, organized by the regime. Stalinist.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy declared on Monday in a press release “strongly denounce” the “deliberate destruction” of grain which “has nothing to do with peaceful protests, whether a legal or moral point of view.”

“We are closely following the investigation into this incident and hope that the perpetrators will be quickly identified and punished,” he added.

Polish farmers stopped a truck carrying Ukrainian grain as it crossed the border on Sunday and dumped its cargo, in protest at what they consider unfair competition from their Ukrainian colleagues.

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In images shared on social networks, we can see piles of cereals, sometimes covered with an EU flag, in the middle of a road, as part of demonstrations organized across all of Poland to protest against competition from Ukraine and heavy European regulations.

Polish police said they were investigating the case. The collected evidence “will be sent today to the Chelm district prosecutor's office for a criminal law assessment regarding further proceedings in this case,” local police spokeswoman Ewa told AFP. Czyz.

Poland has been among Ukraine's biggest supporters since the Russian invasion, but friction over Warsaw's unilateral ban on grain imports has damaged relations between the allies.


In recent days, authorities in Warsaw have discussed the possibility of imposing new import bans on Ukrainian agricultural products to protect their farmers.

Poland had 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.

The European Commission indicated on Monday that it was “continuing” to seek “solutions” that would preserve “maximum economic support for Ukraine”, ravaged by two years of war.

“We believe that the work should be done not at the border, not in a pressure situation, but by sitting down at the negotiating table,” said the Commission spokesperson, Olof Gill.

“Ukrainian farmers work under constant enemy shelling and suffer huge losses. They pay very dearly for their harvests, sometimes with their lives,” added the Ukrainian ministry.

He “invited” Polish producers “to go to Ukraine to see the working conditions” of Ukrainians.

“The lack of reaction from the Polish authorities to the destruction of deliveries will lead to more xenophobia and political violence,” added Ukrainian Deputy Minister of the Economy, Taras Katchka.

If Warsaw does not react quickly, the “gang” that organized the border blockade will “start killing Ukrainians because they are Ukrainians,” warned Mr. Katchka.

Some participants in these farmer protests belong to the Polish far right and previously took part in organizing the border blockade by Polish truckers at the end of 2023.

“It is painful to see Ukrainian grain scattered on the road,” MP Iryna Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook. “Bread is sacred to Ukrainians. Our genetic memory keeps deep within us the horrors of the Holodomor.”

Andriï Sadovy, the mayor of Lviv, a large city in western Ukraine close to Poland, judged on Telegram “shameful” the actions carried out, according to him, “by Polish […] pro-Russian provocateurs “.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116