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Media: European Commission sends letter of concern to Poland over border blockade

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 8, 2024 8:06 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian trucks in the parking lot next to Korczowa border crossing on the Polish-Ukrainian border on Dec. 5, 2023. (Wojtek Radwanski / AFP via Getty Images)
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A representative of the European Commission has sent the Polish government a letter expressing their concern about the ongoing blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border, the Polish media outlet RMF24 reported on Jan. 8, citing representatives of the commission.

Polish truckers have been blocking three crossings with Ukraine since November 2023 in protest of the EU's liberalization of transit rules for Ukrainian truckers, causing massive lines on the border and negatively impacting Ukraine's economy.

Polish farmers then launched a blockade at a fourth crossing at Medyka. They temporarily suspended the protest over the Christmas period between Dec. 24 and Jan. 4.

The farmers said they launched the protest because the authorities have not taken enough measures to protect their livelihoods, despite an import ban on Ukrainian grain.

EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean sent Poland's Infrastructure Minister Dariusz Klimczak a letter to stress the country's "obligation to ensure the free movement of vehicles at border crossings with Ukraine in accordance with the road transport agreement between the EU and Ukraine."

The European Commission has offered support in resolving the border dispute. EU representatives told RMF24 that the "(Yahodyn)-Dorohusk blockade has important consequences for Ukraine, Poland and the European Union."

The Polish Agriculture Ministry announced on Jan. 6 that Polish farmers agreed to suspend their border blockade at the Shehyni-Medyka crossing after reaching an agreement with government representatives.

Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Siekierski pledged to meet three of the farmers farmers' demands on Jan. 6.

These include launching corn subsidies worth one billion zloty ($251 million), increasing liquidity loans by 2.5 billion zloty ($629 million), and keeping agricultural tax at the 2023 level.

Farmers have also previously asked to expand the import ban on Ukrainian agricultural products to items like sugar, eggs, and poultry, but this was not included in the deal reached on Jan. 6.

Anger and disappointment in endless lines of Ukrainian trucks at Polish border
As Polish haulers’ blockade of border checkpoints with Ukraine stretches into its second month, thousands of Ukrainian truckers remain stranded in huge lines waiting to cross into their homeland. They say they’re losing patience. Though the estimated waiting time has somewhat dropped since the star…
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