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Farmers' protests in Medyka: "Various mafia organizations are bringing this grain to Poland"

Photo: Darek Delmanowicz / EPA

Polish farmers opened Ukrainian freight wagons with grain at the Medyka border crossing, blocking the tracks on the strategically important railway line. A video from social networks circulated on Ukrainian public television showing farmers unloading grain from several freight wagons from the eastern neighboring country and singing the Polish national anthem. The police cordoned off part of the area and asked the demonstrators to leave the tracks.

Ukrainian Railways confirmed the incident at the Polish border station at Medyka. The two open grain wagons were intended for Germany. In total there are around 40 Ukrainian wagons with agricultural goods in this station. The Polish railway and the Ukrainian embassy in Poland were informed “about the unauthorized interference in the operation of the railway”.

The action is part of nationwide farmers' protests. They are directed against EU agricultural policy, but also against the import of cheap agricultural products from Ukraine. »We farmers from all over Poland were the first to extend a hand of friendship and welcome our brothers from Ukraine. And now we are being harmed by them," said Roman Kondrow from the initiative "The Deceived Village" to the radio station Rmf.fm. »Various mafia organizations bring this grain to Poland. There’s no other way to put it.”

Polish farmers also complain that the EU's Green Deal imposes new conditions on them, while grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine are allowed onto the market that could be produced more cheaply without these conditions.

The Foreign Ministry in Kiev called on Warsaw to stop the blockades and take action against "anti-Ukrainian" rhetoric. "There is no justification for the blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border, whatever slogans may accompany it," wrote Foreign Office spokesman Oleh Nikolenko on Facebook.