Zelenskyy: Ukraine's PM will come to border, I don't know if Polish counterparts will be present there

Friday, 23 February 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commented on Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's refusal to visit the Polish-Ukrainian border to resolve the situation caused by Polish farmers' protests.

Zelenskyy noted that Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, along with other ministers and representatives of Ukraine's State Border Guard Service, will be working on the border with Poland on Friday.

"Whether our Polish partners will be there is their personal decision. We cannot be there tomorrow because of the second anniversary of our struggle [Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine – ed.]. I am not saying that someone offered us [to meet] tomorrow, but we said openly that we are ready to cooperate on proposals, decisions, and steps. We will be ready to be at the border by 24 February. I don't know if the Polish side will be present," Zelenskyy said.

Speaking about the border blockade, he noted that Polish farmers are blocking products that are in transit to other countries.

"Ukrainian grain does not go to the Polish market because the Polish side requests it. We have found new ways, but it is a bit outside the scope of European legislation when we talk about transit. Therefore, we are ready and will do everything to resolve this issue," he added.

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.

On 20 February, Polish farmers launched a large-scale protest across Poland, including on the border with Ukraine. Several incidents involving the spilling of Ukrainian grain and the blocking of passenger traffic occurred during this time.

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