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Polish consul on farmers' actions at border: 'Disgrace and shame'

by Martin Fornusek February 21, 2024 2:27 PM 2 min read
A Polish farmer taking part in a protest at the Ukrainian border on Feb. 20, 2024, with a banner saying, "Putin, restore order in Ukraine, Brussels, and our government." (X)
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Polish Consul General in Lviv Eliza Dzwonkiewicz on Feb. 20 denounced the actions of Polish farmers blocking the border with Ukraine, saying they bring "shame on Poland."

Polish farmers launched a new wave of protests on the border in early February in response to Ukrainian agricultural imports and the EU's Green Deal. The situation escalated on Feb. 20, when some protesters dumped Ukrainian grain on railway tracks and displayed anti-Ukrainian posters.

Dzwonkiewicz said that her criticism is not aimed against the farmers' demands but against the form of the protest.

"I can't stay silent any longer. For the love of my homeland. I cannot pretend that I do not see these actions on the Polish-Ukrainian border that bring shame to Poland. I am sorry, dear Ukrainian friends," the Polish diplomat said on Facebook.

She compared the behavior of the protesters to the Soviet troops who refused to support the Warsaw uprising against Nazi Germany in 1944.

Dzwonkiewicz said that when she was younger, she was "convinced that only Russians could calmly watch another nation bleed to death... that we, Poles, would never do something similar."

"And what are 'Polish' farmers and carriers doing today? I don't believe they are Poles... A true Pole would never backstab his neighbors fighting for freedom... Sorry to the fighting Ukraine, I am sorry."

While organizers of the protests said their demands were connected strictly to their businesses and livelihoods, the event was accompanied by some statements and actions perceived as political and anti-Ukrainian.

A photo appeared on social media on Feb. 20 where a protesting farmer displayed a banner on his vehicle appealing to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to "restore order in Ukraine, Brussels, and our (Polish) government," as well as a Soviet flag.

Polish Interior Minister Marcin Kierwinski called it "scandalous" and said that the Polish police had already confiscated the banner.

"The police and prosecutor's office are taking action against the author. There will be no consent to such criminal activities," Kierwinski said on the social media platform X.

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