Ukrainian rail firm official encourages farmers to redirect cargo through Hungary, Romania
UZ wagons (Photo: UZ press service)

Due to farmers' protests in Poland and attempts to block railway tracks, it is better for Ukrainian farmers to reorient cargo flows to Hungary, Deputy Director of the Department of Commercial Work of Ukrzaliznytsia Valeriy Tkachov said at an online meeting with Hungarian carriers, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports.

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"Agricultural strikes are taking place in Poland... We have already reached the point of blocking rail transport – access tracks of some terminals and even attempts to block highways. We are waiting for the reaction of Polish law enforcement officers. And in general, we must somehow resolve this situation," Tkachov stated.

Hungary is ready to transit these cargoes through its territory, he argues.

"And please keep in mind that there is no such problem in Hungary today. Therefore, if possible, redirect your flows and continue exporting," said the official.

Today, Hungarian connections are underloaded, Tkachov noted, noting that there are additional opportunities to increase export and import of goods.

At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities are planning an additional route for transporting goods across the Danube River in order to increase their exports to pre-war levels, Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction – the Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov stated in an interview with Bloomberg.

"Our plans for this year is to remove all artificial obstacles for exporters and we are working to improve domestic logistics. We are planning container transportation via the upper Danube as Romania is more predictable than the Polish border," he said.

The plan is that a new route for the transportation of products will run from the Ukrainian port of Izmail to the Romanian Constanta and ports in Germany located on the Danube.

Polish farmers on tractors have been engaging in widespread protests since February 9, blocking roads in nearly 300 cities and towns across Poland. Among them are six checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Polish border.

On February 11, protesters at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk border crossing intentionally scattered over three tons of imported Ukrainian grain onto the roadway. The symbolic act sparked a negative reaction from Ukrainian authorities, including statements of concern from the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Escalating their demonstrations, Polish farmers began interfering with passenger transportation systems on February 18, including blocking railway lines.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy publicly criticized the scope of the farmers' protests, asserting that their disruptive tactics amounted to harassment.