Mass protests by Polish farmers lead to blockade of border with Ukraine

Tuesday, 20 February 2024

Polish farmers have initiated protests across the country, and are blocking roads and border crossings with Ukraine.

As reported by RMF24, reports indicate that protests are taking place in dozens of locations across Poland, with farmers driving their equipment in columns along roads or blocking them. In some instances, hunters have joined them. 

Protest participants have announced plans to block all border crossings with Ukraine.

Currently, the Yahodyn-Dorohusk border crossing point is reportedly blocked. Polish farmers say they will not allow any lorries into Ukraine until 18:00. Reportedly, farmers from several other European countries are expected to join them.

Twitter (X) of RMF24 journalist Michał Dobrołowicz

As of late evening on 19 February, the line of lorries waiting to enter Ukraine through this border crossing reached 17 km, and for some, the waiting time extended to 230 hours. 

The Medyka-Shehyni crossing point has also been blocked.

One of the protesters' key demands is to impose restrictions on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine.

On 20 February, the eve of a large protest by farmers, Czeslaw Siekierski, Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, addressed to them an open letter outlining the ministry's priorities and inviting the protesters to negotiations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine deemed the blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border unacceptable and emphasised that such actions appear politicised and have serious consequences for Ukraine.

The European Commission announced a meeting of the Coordination Platform for the Export and Transit of Ukrainian Agricultural Products amid the blockade of the border with Ukraine by Polish farmers on 20 February.

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