Polish farmers block Ukrainian border crossing, again

Farmers in Poland are protesting at the Shehyni land border crossing near Ukraine, Ukraine’s state border service said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The protesters are not letting trucks from Ukraine into Poland, while other means of transport are passing the border as usual.

Oszukana wieś (The Deceived Village), an association behind the protest, also blocked the Dorohusk-Jagodzin crossing several times in February, demanding that the Polish government stop importing Ukrainian grain.

In the first protest since April, Polish farmers again accused their government of allowing Ukrainian grain into Poland "in an uncontrolled manner" despite the ban, Polish newspaper Wyborcza reported.

About 40 tractors have been brought to the crossing, with the farmers carrying banners such as ‘We are waiting for the elections’ or ‘President, we will rip you off’, and an effigy of a hanged farmer.

The Polish farmers are also outraged compensation payments to grain producers have been suspended since 1 June, with the government blaming technical problems, as well as the slow pace of the investigation into the involvement of Polish companies in the purchase of Ukrainian grain and its supply to the local market.

The farmers stress that their action is not directed against Ukraine. The protests will last until 22:00 on 7 June.

In mid-April, Poland, followed by Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria, suspended imports of grain and other food products from Ukraine under pressure from local producers.

The countries agreed to lift the unilateral restrictions only after lengthy negotiations with the EU and EUR 100 million in compensations for their farmers.

On 2 May, the European commission imposed a ban on grain exports from Ukraine to five countries for a month. Earlier this week, it decided to gradually lift restrictions on Ukrainian imports by September.