Protesters from EU countries back Polish farmers on Ukraine border

Polish farmers block the road during a protest at the Polish-Ukrainian border in Dorohusk, southeastern Poland. (EPA-EFE/Wojtek Jargilo POLAND OUT)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Farmers from across the European Union are joining their Polish colleagues in conducting a full-scale blockade of the Ukrainian border as agricultural workers continue to protest against cheap imports from the war-torn country.

The mass action is expected to reach its climax with a tractor march on Warsaw next week, and continued demonstrations are testing Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s steadfast support for Kyiv.

The Polish farmers’ protests follow a recent two-month blockade by Polish truckers at major border crossings as they attempt to address local issues by disrupting imports to and exports from Ukraine. However, the demonstrations are also the result of anger over economic, regulatory, and the EU’s green policies.

Farmers across the bloc say that the costs of energy, fertilizer, and transport have risen, particularly in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

On Feb. 18, truck traffic at the Dorohusk-Yahodyn border checkpoint was completely blocked. According to the State Customs Service of Ukraine, the Polish farmers who have been blocking the checkpoint since Feb. 9 have been joined by farmers from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.

Polish customs officials warned the Ukrainian side about the large-scale protest, the Ukrainian public television channel Suspline reported.

Farmers blocked access to the border terminal. Currently, there are several hundred people in front of Dorohusk, and more farmers are arriving. The protest is being supervised by the police. 

Warsaw has been Kyiv’s staunchest supporter against Russia, but relations have taken a hit by several economic disputes in recent months. Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who traveled to meet Zelensky in Kyiv last month, has urged both sides to find a compromise, but the Minister for Agriculture Czesław Siekierski sympathizes with the stance taken by the farmers and has called for changes both in the EU’s climate policies as well as the trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine. 

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