14:35 09 Feb 2024

Poland may ban certain agricultural products from Ukraine

Photo: Agencja Wyborcza.pl

Poland's Minister of Agriculture, Czesław Siekierski, stated that the apprehension of Polish farmers about the excessive influx of Ukrainian agricultural products into the Polish market is justified. 

He mentioned in an interview with Polish Radio that alongside the grain, Poland might need to completely block exports in certain sectors, Rubryka reports.

According to Siekierski, Polish farmers "have legitimate expectations and demands to limit the excessive influx of goods from Ukraine" into the European market, especially into Poland.

He noted he intends to limit imports of agricultural products from Ukraine into Poland, with control measures to ensure they do not harm the Polish market.

Siekierski disclosed that Poland is negotiating bilaterally with Ukraine to establish certain goods quotas.

"If there is an excess of any product that harms the market, a blockade will happen," said the agriculture minister.

He stressed that Poland also exports agricultural products to other EU markets and cannot compete with the Ukrainian agro-sector, which operates on a large scale.

He added that he also understands the arguments of Polish farmers in this matter.

"We'll need a blockade in certain sectors, as in the case of grain. It may also be necessary to ban poultry meat. We are analyzing this and will propose it to the European Commission, but we also want to coordinate this with Ukraine," Siekierski said.

As reported by the agency, Polish farmers began a nationwide blockade of roads across the country and border crossings on the Polish-Ukrainian border, starting from 11:00 am (Kyiv time) on Friday.

According to the organizers of the strike from the Independent Farmers' Trade Union "Solidarity," the blockade of major highways in the country will last several hours, while roads near border crossings will be blocked until March 10.

The previous government of Mateusz Morawiecki unilaterally imposed an embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain (wheat, corn, rapeseed, sunflower) to Poland from September 15 last year after the European Commission refused to extend this ban at the EU level. For now, Donald Tusk's new government has decided not to lift this embargo.

Border situation with Poland

Due to protests by Polish farmers, movement through a number of border checkpoints has become difficult. These include "Medyka – Shehyni," "Krakivets – Korczowa, " and "Dorohusk – Yahodyn."

According to Ukraine's State Customs Service, farmers plan to obstruct the transshipment of Ukrainian agricultural goods from rail to road transport at the "Khru­beshiv – Volodymyr-Volynskyi" border checkpoint starting today, February 9.

"Shipments of other categories will continue without restrictions," the press service added.

Ukrainian border blockade 

On November 6 last year, Polish carriers began strikes at the border with Ukraine. Polish protesters demanded the return of permits for Ukrainian carriers.

On January 17, 2024, the Polish government signed an agreement with carriers to unblock the border with Ukraine. Under the agreement, the parties agreed to suspend protests at the approaches to three border checkpoints until March 1.

On January 31, the European Commission recommended extending the suspension of import duties for agricultural goods from Ukraine for 2024. Polish farmers immediately stated that they did not support EU actions.

Polish farmers announced protests at the Ukraine border on February 9. Initially, protesters plan to block the "Dorohusk – Yahodyn" border checkpoint.

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