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Polish government confirms Ukrainian grain does not stay in the country, contrary to protestors' belief

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 11:13
Polish government confirms Ukrainian grain does not stay in the country, contrary to protestors' belief
SpillUkrainian grain. Photo: Suspilne

Michał Kołodziejczak, Poland's Deputy Agriculture Minister, has confirmed that the influx of Ukrainian grain that caused Polish farmers to block the border in protest is bound for destinations further afield, adding that "they could have protested at another border".

Source: Polish news agency PAP, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Kołodziejczak noted that currently, Ukrainian grain transits through Poland rather than ending up in the country.

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"Neither grain, nor maize, nor rapeseed stay here [in Poland]," he said.

The deputy minister noted that over the past few weeks, he had received reports of supposed cases of Ukrainian products misdeclared as "in transit" being unloaded in Poland, but none of these reports were confirmed.

"If I were to protest today, I would block a different border... Poland has imposed an embargo on goods from Ukraine, which are of greatest concern to us. Let's take Germany: we also see protests in Germany and German farmers' messages that they don't want these products from Ukraine, where it is clear that companies buy a lot from Poland, but the government has not imposed an embargo on these goods, which causes market flooding, leading to Ukrainian products taking away the German market from us as well," Kołodziejczak said.

The official added that with this in mind, quotas for Ukrainian products should be introduced at the EU level, as well as simplifying their export to third countries outside the EU.

Kołodziejczak also announced that Poland may introduce new restrictions on imports from Ukraine if it fails to reach an agreement with Kyiv.

Background:

  • On 20 February, protests by Polish farmers at the border escalated. Among other things, they blocked the railway near the Shehyni-Medyka checkpoint and spilled some of the grain from a freight train wagon onto the tracks on the morning of 20 February, the second such grain spilling incident.
  • In response to the Polish actions, Ukrainian hauliers began protesting at the Rava-Ruska-Hrebenne, Krakivets-Korczowa and Shehyni-Medyka checkpoints.
  • The co-leader of the Polish protests suggested that passenger traffic might be blocked in response to Ukraine’s actions.

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