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Polish parliament calls on European Commission to ban agricultural goods from Russia, Belarus

by Kateryna Hodunova March 8, 2024 7:08 PM 2 min read
Hundreds of trucks wait in line as an ongoing blockade by Polish farmers continues on the Dorohusk Polish-Ukrainian border crossing on Feb. 20, 2024, in Dorohusk, Poland. Photo for illustrative purposes (Omar Marques/Getty Images)
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The lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, adopted a resolution on March 8 that urged the European Commission to block imports of Russian and Belorussian food and agricultural produce to the EU.

Calling the European Commission to impose sanctions on Russian agricultural goods was one of the suggestions proposed by Ukraine to Poland to solve the ongoing blockade led by Polish farmers.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on March 4 that Poland would ask the EU to ban Russian and Belarusian agricultural products and foodstuffs.

According to the resolution, imports of Russian and Belorussian products generate significant income for the budgets of these states and could be used for fueling the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine.

"It is our moral obligation to stop the trade that may directly or indirectly contribute to strengthening the ability of Russia and supporting it Belarus to continue the war with Ukraine, especially since Russian imports may include grain stolen from Ukraine's occupied territories," the resolution said.

Polish parliament added that trade with Russia and Belarus could have a negative impact on the single market, as "Russia continues to use food as a ‘weapon’ and disrupt the supply of Ukrainian agricultural goods around the world."

The resolution also called on the EU Council and the European Parliament to implement changes in order to protect "the sensitive sectors" of the EU agricultural market against "excessive imports" from Ukraine.

The members of the Polish parliament expect the European Commission "to begin to work urgently on returning in trade relations to the rules regarding the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine."

The Green Deal policies also require verification by the EU institutions, according to the resolution.

Polish farmers launched a new wave of protests at Ukraine's border in early February in opposition to the European Commission's Green Deal policies and Ukrainian agricultural imports to the EU, claiming that Ukrainian imports create unfair competition.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal described the border blockade as "senseless" during a press conference in Kyiv on March 4, since "Ukraine has not exported wheat, corn, or sunflower seeds to Poland since September of last year."

Ukrainian outlet Ukrainska Pravda in February conducted an investigation near the Polish-Belarus border, claiming that the Poles purchased almost $8 million worth of rapeseed meal through Belarus after introducing a ban on Ukrainian products three months earlier.

Opinion: Putin’s silk road around sanctions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – For about 1,500 years, high-value goods were moved from China (and perhaps other parts of Asia) to Europe and the Middle East via the Silk Road. The precise route varied over time, but it always ran through and involved local traders in parts of what we
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