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Polish minister plans to sign deal with farmers blocking border crossings

06.01.2024 11:41
On January 6, the Polish Agriculture Minister plans to sign an agreement with farmers to lift the blockade at the Shehyni-Medyka crossing with Ukraine, the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reported.
Medykafoto: РАР/Darek Delmanowicz

The ongoing border crisis is putting pressure on Ukrainian-Polish relations, which were already strained due to disputes over grain imports last fall, some media outlets reported.

Since November, Polish truckers have been blocking three crossings with Ukraine in protest of the EU's liberalization of transit rules for Ukrainian truckers, kyivindependent.com writes. Polish farmers also launched a blockade at a fourth crossing near Medyka, first between November 23 and December 24 and then again between January 4 and February 3.

As the Rzeczpospolita daily reported, agriculture Minister Czesław Siekierski will arrive in Rzeszów, southwestern Poland, to finalize the deal with the "Betrayed Countryside" group organizing the protest. The Minister has agreed to three of the farmers' demands, which are corn subsidies, higher loans for the agricultural sector, and no tax increase, the Polish newspaper said.

Farmers have also requested that the ban on Ukrainian agricultural products be expanded to include items such as sugar, eggs, and poultry. Rzeczpospolita did not say however whether Polish officials would agree to this demand as well.

In early May, the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation EU, introduced a ban on the import of wheat, corn, rapeseed, sunflower, and sunflower oil from Ukraine to Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, based on an agreement with these countries.

The embargo was later extended until September 15, after which date Brussels decided not to prolong it further, the PAP news agency reported.

To protect their farmers against an influx of produce from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia introduced national bans on Ukrainian grain imports.


Source: Rzeczpospolita, PAP, kyivindependent.com