Poland: Farmers' protest leads to Ukrainian grain spilling from freight train

Poland: Farmers' protest leads to Ukrainian grain spilling from freight train
© Facebook of Ukrzaliznytsia

The incident reflects deeper tensions amid ongoing farmer protests across Poland demanding changes to EU agricultural policy and tighter import controls.

In a dramatic turn of events, Polish farmers' protests at the Medyka border crossing between Poland and Ukraine escalated as participants dumped grain from Ukrainian wagons, prompting a strong reaction from the Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland, Vasyl Zwarycz. The incident, in which farmers blocked rail traffic as part of a wider protest over various grievances, caused significant disruption, including the stoppage of trains and the accumulation of hundreds of lorries at border crossings.r crossings.

Zwarycz expressed his disapproval on platform X, stating, "The police must act decisively and punish those who violate the law. Such actions demonstrate contempt for Ukrainian farmers' work in the face of Russian aggression, as well as a disregard for themselves and others. Shame on you, gentlemen!" The incident underlines tensions on the border and reflects wider discontent among farmers in Poland and other EU countries.

The blockade and grain spillage are part of ongoing protests in Poland, where farmers have taken to the streets in numerous cities to voice demands including the abandonment of the EU's Green Deal, tighter controls on Ukrainian imports, and the resolution of specific national issues. The protests have caused significant disruption to transport.

Ukrzaliznytsia, the Ukrainian state railway company, insisted that the cargo was in transit to Germany in compliance with an April 2023 ban on grain exports to Poland. The company has called for an end to the illegal actions, highlighting the damage such protests cause to bilateral relations and the potential benefit to the aggressor country in the ongoing conflict. Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine's Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, described the incident as a political provocation aimed at dividing the nations.

The border situation and the farmers' protests reflect a complex series of economic, environmental, and political tensions within the EU and between neighboring countries. As the protests continue, calls are growing for a balanced approach to address the demands of the agricultural sector, safeguard diplomatic relations, and ensure the smooth operation of international trade and transport channels.

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