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Polish farmers to hold large protest against imports from Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova January 20, 2024 12:10 AM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only. Farmers protest against the economic crisis and cheap agricultural production. in Warsaw on July 7, 2022. (Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Polish farmers opposed to imports of agricultural products from Ukraine plan to hold a major protest on Jan. 24 by blocking roads across the country, Rolnik Info reported on Jan. 19.

The news came a few days after Polish truckers had unblocked the last of three crossings at the Ukraine border. A fourth border crossing, at Medyka-Shehyni, was temporarily blocked by Polish farmers, who suspended their blockade after reaching a deal with the government on Jan. 6.

Farmers are expected to take to the streets on Jan. 24 from 12 p.m. till 2 p.m. local time in most provinces to protest against grain imports from Ukraine, citing the "difficult situation" in Polish agriculture.

"We cannot compete with Ukraine, so we expect, among other things, to introduce quotas that existed before the war. Ukrainian grain should go where it belongs, to the Asian or African markets, not to Europe," Adrian Wawrzyniak, spokesperson for the Polish farmers' trade union, said in the interview with wieści rolnicze.pl.

The Polish National Council of Agrarian Chambers supported the protest, saying it aims to pressure the European Commission to change its policy regarding the "uncontrolled flow" of Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU.

Disputes surrounding the ban on importing Ukrainian grain evolved into a larger diplomatic spat in September 2023. Polish government officials indicated they plan to maintain the grain import ban instituted under the previous conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government.

Further farmer and trucker protests took place at the Romania, Slovak, and Hungarian borders with Ukraine throughout the winter.

Border Guard: Polish truckers unblock last crossing at Ukraine border
Earlier the same day, Polish truckers ended their blockade of two other checkpoints — Korczowa-Krakovets and Hrebenne-Rava Ruska, meaning the border is now fully unblocked. This followed an agreement between Warsaw and the Polish truckers, who said they would end their border blockade until March 1.

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