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Polish farmers take part in a protest against the EU Green Deal and the import of Ukrainian grain in Warsaw, Poland on March 6, 2024. (Omar Marques/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Polish farmers, agrarian workers, foresters, and hunters staged a general strike in Warsaw on March 6 in protest against Ukrainian agricultural imports and EU environmental policies.

The strike comes a week after Polish farmers organized a mass protest in Warsaw on Feb. 27, when tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital following months of protests on the border with Ukraine.

Polish farmers are opposed the EU's Green Deal policies and Ukrainian agricultural imports to the EU, claiming that Ukrainian imports create unfair competition.

The farmers said on Feb. 27 that they plan to organize a general strike in Warsaw on March 6 if no action is taken to implement their demands.

The protest on March 6 began at 11 a.m. local time in front of Prime Minister Donald Tusk's office. Protesting farmers told Polish media outlet RMF24 that they "expect the Green Deal to be completely removed from EU policy."

The police have warned of traffic disruption to some roads leading into Warsaw and closed multiple roads in the city center, according to local media reports.  

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a press conference on March 4 that the border blockade and ongoing trade disputes with Poland have a higher economic cost to Warsaw than Kyiv.  

Only 5% of Ukrainian agricultural exports are transported by road, with 90% being shipped out via maritime routes, he said.

He pointed to a "pre-election struggle" taking place in Poland, where local elections are scheduled for April and European elections are scheduled for June.

"Frankly, the pre-election struggle is taking place in Poland today, and we understand Polish internal politics," Shmyhal said. A similar escalation over grain disputes took place last autumn, shortly before the Polish parliamentary elections.

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