Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk said that whilst Warsaw wants to help Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression, the fact that “several thousand people” are profiting at the expense of Polish farmers cannot be overlooked.
Source: RMF24, citing Tusk, as reported by European Pravda
Donald Tusk noted that he discussed the situation with grain imports with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his first visit to Kyiv and explained Poland’s position.
Quote: “The desire of a few hundred or thousand people in Ukraine to earn [windfall profits] is [irrelevant to the success of their war effort]. We want to help Ukraine as a state, and the Ukrainian people in their armed confrontation with Russia. Our position here will certainly not change. But the war and our empathy for and openness with Ukraine is not something people should be allowed to take advantage of by engaging in unfair and unequal competition with our companies and farmers,” said the Polish PM.
Tusk emphasised that if the dissatisfaction of the Polish business community is not alleviated, anti-Ukrainian sentiment may increase in the country.
“The paradox is that if Ukraine wants to be able to mobilise the entire Western world to support it in the confrontation with Russia, it needs to respect the interests of individual members of this community… Otherwise, this enthusiasm and willingness to support the nation could falter,” added Donald Tusk.
He noted that the Polish government needs to determine how many Ukrainian products still end up on the Polish market in spite of restrictions. To do so, it is necessary to make border checks more thorough.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture stated that the ministry is preparing to publish a list of Polish companies that imported Ukrainian grain.
On 9 February, farmers from all over Poland initiated another protest, expected to last 30 days. It involves, among other things, blockading lorries at border crossings with Ukraine.
Polish farmers protesting near a checkpoint on the Polish-Ukrainian border broke into three trucks and spilled grain on the ground.
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