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Polish farmers launch new blockade at Medyka-Shehyni crossing on Ukraine border

by Martin Fornusek February 9, 2024 11:23 AM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Polish border road signs are seen as trucks in queue crossing the border in Medyka on Jan. 15, 2024. (Dominika Zarzycka/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Polish farmers launched a blockade at the Medyka-Shehyni crossings with Ukraine on Feb. 9, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine spokesperson Andrii Demchenko told Ukrainska Pravda, citing information from Polish colleagues.

Protests are also planned at the Dorohusk-Yahodyn and Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska crossings, Demchenko added.

The farmers announced the protests in advance, citing an alleged lack of action by Warsaw and Brussels to address the influx of Ukrainian goods. Earlier, Polish carriers and farmers blocked four crossings between November 2023 and January to protest Ukrainian imports and liberalization of permits for Ukrainian truckers.

"Traffic is blocked by about 100 people and about 50 vehicles. As a result, the passage of trucks, cars, and buses leaving the Republic of Poland and entering the Republic of Poland has currently stopped," Demchenko said.

A partial blockade is also expected to start on Feb. 12 at the Zosin-Ustyluh crossing, and the passage of trucks is to be slowed down at the Uhryniv-Dolhobychuv the same day, the Ukrainian State Customs Service said earlier.

Ukrinform later reported that farmers also began blocking roads across Poland, which is expected to last for several hours.

The protests center around imports of agricultural goods from Ukraine, which Polish agricultural groups claim present unfair competition to their own businesses. Warsaw has banned the import of grain and several other products from Ukraine in 2023, but other items, such as sugar or poultry, continue to raise worries among Polish farmers.

Polish farmers agreed to suspend their initial blockade on Jan. 6 after Agricultural Minister Czeslaw Siekierski agreed to meet some of their demands, including corn subsidies, increasing liquidity loans, and keeping agricultural tax at the 2023 level.

A new wave of protests erupted on Jan. 24, blocking roads across Poland again in connection to imports from Ukraine and other non-EU countries.

The Solidarity trade union announced at the beginning of February that they would block roads and border crossings with Ukraine between Feb. 9 and March 10 because of the supposed "passivity of the Polish authorities" and of the EU in solving the import issue.

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