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Poland to increase inspections of Ukrainian food products at border

by Dominic Culverwell February 4, 2024 2:53 PM 2 min read
Polish inspector at a train carrying Ukrainian food products into Poland. Feb. 4, 2024. (Michał Kołodziejczak/X)
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Poland will clamp down on poor-quality Ukrainian agricultural imports into Poland, the Polish Agricultural Ministry wrote on X on Feb. 4.

Polish Agricultural Minister Czeslaw Siekierski conducted checks at the Medyka and Korczowa crossings with Ukraine over the weekend. He promised strengthened border control and more inspections.

“Excessive import of agricultural products from Ukraine that do not meet the production requirements applicable in the EU threatens the competitiveness of Polish agriculture,” Siekierski said, according to the Polish Agricultural Ministry.

Polish Deputy Agricultural Minister Michal Kolodziejczak also conducted inspections on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 at several checkpoints with Ukraine. He highlighted several products, including rapeseed. of “questionable quality” and sugar with an allegedly “strange smell.”

“Goods that are in transit... should be carefully inspected by Polish services and, if necessary, returned to Ukraine,” he wrote on social media.

In a separate post, Kolodziejczak uploaded a photo of moldy frozen raspberries allegedly discovered at a checkpoint. He concluded that an embargo should be imposed on Ukrainian raspberries.

Polish farmers have held protests on and off since spring 2023. They are protesting the influx of cheap Ukrainian imports to aid Ukraine’s war effort which they claim hurt local agricultural businesses.

They announced a nationwide strike on Feb. 1, pledging to blockade all Polish border crossings with Ukraine following protests on Jan. 24.

Siekierski said he will attempt to halt new blockades through negotiations with protestors. He claims Poland is in bilateral talks with Ukraine over the issue.

The minister said on Feb. 4 that he is in discussions with representatives of the Oszukana Wieś (Deceived Village) farmers association.

Previously, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Jan. 24 that he would try to address Polish farmers’ concerns in a way that does not violate EU regulations and would be acceptable for the Ukrainian and Polish sides.

Polish PM Donald Tusk pledges unity, end to border blockade during Kyiv visit
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Jan. 22 during his first visit to Ukraine since assuming the position.
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