Ukraine demands compensation from Poland over dumped grain

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Protesting farmers have reportedly offloaded Ukrainian produce from freight cars onto the ground

Kiev has demanded compensation from the Polish farmers who dumped onto the ground about 180 tons of Ukrainian grain from freight cars transiting the country during a recent blockade, RBK Ukraine reported on Wednesday, citing first Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Visotsky.    

Polish truckers and farmers have been blocking checkpoints at the border with Ukraine, calling for a ban on imports of non-EU agricultural products. Similar blockades have appeared elsewhere in the bloc as farmers argue that countries such as Ukraine don’t have to abide by EU regulations or pay the bloc’s taxes, meaning their products are cheaper and possess an unfair advantage.  

Last week, protesting Polish farmers spilled Ukrainian grain from train cars to protest what they view as unfair competition. Earlier this month, they also offloaded produce from trucks trying to enter Poland onto a road near border crossings with Ukraine.    

“As a result of protests by Polish farmers on the border with Ukraine, between 160 and 180 tons of Ukrainian grain were spilled from freight cars along the way, which was being sent to Morocco. Those who caused the damage must compensate for it. This can be decided by a court decision or voluntarily” RBK Ukraine quoted Vysotsky as saying.  

Kiev sent a note to Warsaw demanding that the Polish authorities find and punish those who are guilty, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Kubrakov wrote on X (former Twitter) on Monday.   

According to the official, the Ukrainian grain was en route to other countries via the port of Gdansk, when it was dumped at the railway station near Bydgoszcz, in eastern Poland. This was reportedly the fourth instance of Ukrainian produce being spilled by protesting Polish farmers in recent weeks.  

On Monday, European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski announced that the EU’s agricultural sector had lost €19 billion ($20.6 billion) in 2022 and 2023 as a result of the liberalization of trade with Ukraine.   

Members of the bloc lifted tariffs and quotas in 2022 for Ukrainian agricultural produce in order to enable foodstuffs, mainly grain, to be shipped onward to global markets. However, much of the supply has instead flooded Eastern European countries, destabilizing markets in the bloc and endangering the livelihoods of local farmers.

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