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Ukrainian government proposes “mutual understanding plan” to unblock border with Poland

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In response to Polish farmers’ protests, the Ukrainian government has prepared and proposed a “plan of mutual understanding” to unblock the border.

Source: Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during a visit to the Ukrainian-Polish border on 23 February, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Shmyhal describes the Ukrainian “plan of mutual understanding” as a five-step process. The first calls for Kyiv to agree to the European Commission’s restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural exports, specifically poultry meat, eggs, and sugar.

Second, the Prime Minister stated that Ukraine will request that the EU immediately screen agricultural policy and transportation legislation, “in order to once and for all remove the manipulation of the quality of our agricultural products”.

Quote: “The issue of trade between Ukraine and the EU will be resolved with the EU rather than with individual countries. Only in this and no other,” Shmyhal emphasised.

The third step in the plan calls for the governments of Kyiv and Warsaw to issue a joint appeal to the European Commission, urging it to halt Russian agricultural exports to the EU, following the example of Latvia’s Sejm.

Furthermore, Ukraine offers the European Commission to employ additional restrictions and enhanced monitoring of agricultural imports from third countries into the EU, as well as establish joint border control between Ukraine and the EU.

Fourth, Shmyhal stated that Kyiv proposes establishing a “Tripartite Headquarters: Ukraine, Poland and the European Commission” co-chaired by Ukraine’s and Poland’s agrarian ministers, as well as a representative from the European Commission, “in order to quickly resolve all misunderstandings”.

Finally, the fifth step implies that Poland, after allowing the movement of ammunition, military equipment, humanitarian aid, and medical supplies, will expand its response to Ukraine’s critical fuel supply.

“The tripartite headquarters should work around the clock, and the issue of border closure should be resolved much sooner than 28 March, when a joint meeting of Ukraine and Poland’s governments is scheduled. Otherwise, Ukraine reserves the right to implement mirror measures at checkpoints,” Shmyhal concluded.

On 21 February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed that Poland hold a bilateral meeting at the level of governments and, if necessary, presidents in response to Polish farmers blocking checkpoints on the common border.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk rejected President Zelenskyy’s invitation for a governmental meeting at the border. He said such a meeting should not be symbolic and that talks between the two governments are scheduled for late March in Warsaw.

On 23 February, the Ukrainian government delegation arrived at the border, but the meeting did not take place, since representatives of Poland did not arrive.

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