On Tuesday, February 20th, Polish farmers blocked the "Medyka-Shehyni" border crossing point with Ukraine. At the blockade site, they spilled grain from a freight wagon.

This was reported by the publications Suspilne and Radio Liberty.

Polish farmers blocked the railway track for about 15 minutes. Police arrived at the scene. However, the protesters returned to the road, where they continue to block the movement of trucks.

Roman Kondruv, one of the organizers of the protest by Polish farmers, stated that the protesters spilled the grain “due to emotions,” as “people are desperate and cannot control themselves.”

This reaction is in response to the influx of grain from Ukraine. This is very bad. People are desperate and cannot control themselves. No one is in control: neither the Polish authorities nor the Ukrainian ones.

“We have no influence on people, they cannot bear it and spill it. We are bankrupt because everything is imported from Ukraine uncontrollably”, he added.

Earlier, it was reported that Polish farmers announced a new nationwide strike, which began on February 9th and is scheduled to last until March 10th. Protesters plan to block all border crossings between Poland and Ukraine, as well as roads and highways across the country.

This is related to the decision of the European Commission to extend the waiver of import duties for agricultural products from Ukraine until 2024.

Reasons for strikes at checkpoints

The protests by farmers have been ongoing for many weeks. They claim that it is related to the decision of the European Commission to extend the suspension of import duties for agricultural goods from Ukraine until 2024. Hungarian farmers joined the Poles and staged a protest near the “Zahony” checkpoint on the border with Ukraine. The strikers insist that products coming from outside the European Union should be subject to the same rules as EU farmers, and Brussels should protect the interests of its own farmers, “rather than trying to destroy the European countryside with its actions”.

Protesters also complain that Ukraine allegedly exports products with an increased GMO content, and they oppose this. However, it is worth noting that the true reasons for border blockades are more political than economic. The organizers of the blockade in Poland, the recently created “Committee for the Protection of Carriers and Employers in the Transport Industry”, claim that the action is economic and not political. However, their actions have not found support among the authorities and other organizations of carriers. Nevertheless, the protest is being actively supported by the consistent anti-Ukrainian and anti-European party “Konfederacja”, whose representatives are the most vocal in expressing anti-Ukrainian statements, fighting against Ukrainian refugees in the media, and already billing for assistance to Ukraine and its citizens.

Photo: open sources