Thousands of angry farmers could be seen blowing horns, throwing smoke bombs and firecrackers and lighting fires outside the prime minister’s office in Warsaw in the latest escalation over the Polish-Ukrainian grain dispute, as reported by AFP.

However, the fact that Ukraine already conceded to the demands could indicate that political infighting is ultimately at play beneath the persisting voices against Ukrainian farm imports.

“I want to produce healthy food but we’re importing products lower in quality than ours with which we can’t compete in terms of price,” said protester Jan Kepa, who has a farm in southwestern Poland.

“We still have hope but we’ve been protesting for over a month and so far there’s been no satisfying solution for us,” he told AFP.

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However, Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister and Trade Representative Taras Kachka told the Financial Times today – prior to the latest escalations – that Kyiv is ready to accept restrictions on farm imports into the EU if the bloc bans Russian farm imports as well, where some Lithuanian farmers said the latter has had a larger impact on the local market.

Far-right elements at the protest

An anti-Ukrainian slogan that read “The End to Ukrainization” could be spotted on top of a van at the ongoing protest.

The prominence of Confederation Liberty and Independence, a Polish far-right group, at the protest could also mean that Ukrainian imports might simply be a facade for the group’s agenda.

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The group, a staunch EU opposition that holds xenophobic views, has been considered radical right by some, and they are also known for their stance against Tusk.

“We want to criticize Donald Tusk’s government for the Byzantine rule it is building, that is, for appointing a record number of government members,” said Krzysztof Bosak, a lawmaker from Confederation Liberty and Independence in a previous comment.

The official statement released by the party today about the farmers’ protest also shed light on the group’s stance.

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“We remind you once again what we are calling for, or rather what farmers are calling for, and with what we stand in solidarity. This means introducing a national embargo on agri-food products from Ukraine and other countries outside the European Union.

“We do not agree with Prime Minister Tusk’s attempt to redirect this discussion to suddenly call on Brussels to embargo Russian products,” it read, even though Tusk had publicly stated that he was mulling the decision to ban Ukrainian imports.

While some of the farmers’ concerns could be justified, the latest developments have demonstrated outside forces could potentially be at play.

Current developments

The farmers’ protest escalated on Feb. 20 and led to an unprecedented border blockade with Ukraine over what the former called excessive competition from Ukrainian farm imports.

Tusk said last week that the government was mulling a temporary closure of the border with Ukraine for goods.

On Monday, he called on the European Union to impose full sanctions on food and agricultural imports from Russia and Belarus – a proposal backed by Ukraine.

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Tusk said EU-wide sanctions would make it possible to “more effectively protect the EU’s agricultural and food markets” and “fully open up the possibilities of exporting Ukrainian produce ... to third countries.”

Tusk is due to hold talks with Polish farmers on Saturday.

A recent Kyiv Post Op-Ed covered the farmers’ protest developments in detail.

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Comments (4)

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Joseph Swanson
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unfair competition. No such thing as unfair competition...competition is competition. What these farmers really want is protectionism.

I see janusz korwin mikke is stirring things up...again on behalf of russia.

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Piotr
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Your focus of the Konfederacja party which is a bunch of rioters and not a part of the Polish government - instead of on the government stance and policies - is PURE INCITEMENT of anti-Polish hatred in Ukraine!
Did not expect that from the Kviv Post but good to now your 'editorial' views.

John
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@Piotr,

Note Poland has warned the EU and NATO for years of the impending threat of Putin's regime. Every day Ukraine fights to reduce the Russian threat is a blessing for all the free world...and Poland knows this well.



The Polish leadership may need to tweak policy to favour national interests occasionally (as all democratic allied nations will), but they are inherently not the type of people to turn in a significant way against a partner sharing their core values.

The democratic allies all know this, which is why they are not panicking over this current posturing.

I expect both parties will be sharing a beer and warm handshake again shortly. I'll raise a glass to that!.

Piotr
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@John, hmmm... you may note that the support of Poles for Ukraine is dropping - you see we, the Poles we opened everything to Ukraine - ober 15 billion USD help over first 18 months! we did not hesitate a second! We opened our homes.
And then a comedian Zelensky accuses us, Poland at the UN - Sep 2023 - that we work to the benefit of Russia!
Because we do not work to the benefit of Mr Zelensky and his oligarchs buddies? That is why he has been trying so furiously to force Poland to lift the ban on imports? and that is why his people keep Ukrainian media to publish this anti-Polish articles?
Words are empty when not supported with deeds. We, the Poles proved beyond and above our commitment to helping Ukraine.
In return we get bashing in Ukrainian media when we are implementing measures that protect our people.
I hate to say that but it turned many as you call them good Polish people away.
But well, good luck and all the best to you!

John
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@MAddy. I'd cut either nations leadership and in particular that Zelensky government a copious amount of slack given the pressure they are under.

A polish farmer whose decrease in profitability is mostly now being resolved ....not a big problem. A Ukrainian farmer whose family is attacked / possibly murdered by putins forces and yet bravely continues to try to eke out a living in an actively bombed war zone in a probably mined field in a country whose trasporation options have mostly been bombed or blocked by MRGA protesters......big....big enormous ...problem. MRGA prompted rioters make themselves look petty in the world view saying otherwise.

A failure to support Ukraine, or worse to slow down its defence will hit Poland a lot harder than it will most allied nations. The fate of the Ukrainians and the Polish people are hugely intertwined.

But I suspect you don't care, because if you were indeed a Polish person, and were indeed offended by what you were reading here, then you would not come back.

I think you will be back though, but to for the reasons your portend to convey.

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Piotr
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This Financial Times article- is this a how the Ukrainian government now talks to the Polish government?
That might be a problem because the POlish government doe snot run its policies based on articles in the media.
I am sure though that when the Polish government achieves a SIGNED agreement with the Ukrainian government - preferably - or the stamped deicions of the EU it will inform Polish farmers.
And that may end their protests - not an artcile in a newspaper.

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John
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On the bright side at least farmers are familiar with how to use a shovel, so they should come in handy digging trenches if their blocades cause Ukraine to falter and Putin subsequently is freed up to attack and oppress Poland again as his regime has stated.

Now I know that statement may inflame even some Polish supporters of Ukraine, but I arrived at it after reading this articles farmer union quote which actually had the audacity to specifically question stopping ongoing russian food imports into Poland and instead stop Ukrainian imports. The article also states:

"Kyiv is ready to accept restrictions on farm imports into the EU if the bloc bans Russian farm imports as well".

"The prominence of Confederation Liberty and Independence, a Polish far-right group, at the protest could also mean that Ukrainian imports might simply be a facade for the group’s agenda."

"“We remind you once again what we are calling for, or rather what farmers are calling for, and with what we stand in solidarity. This means introducing a national embargo on agri-food products from Ukraine and other countries outside the European Union. We do not agree with Prime Minister Tusk’s attempt to redirect this discussion to suddenly call on Brussels to embargo Russian products,”

Have authorities done background checks on the ringleaders to ferret out MRGA?

Piotr
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@John, what you presented here is a Ukrainian conspiracy as you do not want to admit that the protests were about Ukrainian imports that almost collapsed the Polish market.
Konfederacja is vocal. That's it.
The Polish government does not run its policies based on what Konfederacja says because Konfederajc is not a part of the government.
The Polish government does not run its policies based on newspaper articles either. There will be a decision by the EU on changes in the free trade agreemnt with Ukraine and/or bilateral agreement between governments of Poland and Ukraine - that is a document to show to Polish farmers. Not a newspaper article.

John
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@Piotr, No one here has a beef with the good polish people. Only those who support MRGA's objective of sowing dissent. When would you object to doing backr=ground checks on the organizers of the protesters to ensure they are not linked to russia?

Piotr
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@John, like I wrote a minute ago - what makes you think that the Polish intelligence has not done their howework about the protesters?
Because ... they doi not publish daily reports?

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Piotr
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@John, as for your assumption that your comment may ruffle some Ukrianian supporters in Poland - there are fewer and fewer because of the comments like yours across the entire Ukrainian media space - mainstream and social.
Russians are very accurate to upload all the nasty Ukrainian posts about the Poles - with translations.
But keep it up! By all means! Apparently one war is not enough for you! And for the time being - good luck in your trenches!

John
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@Piotr, No one here has a beef with the good polish people. Only those who support MRGA's objective of sowing dissent. Why would you object to doing background check on the organizers of such war impactful protesters to ensure they are not linked to russia?

Piotr
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@John, hmmmm, good Polish poeple re being bashed everyday in Ukrainian media - Ukrainian Pravda leads the way in the mainstream - your outlet has not explained the Polish side of the story apart form one article I could find
so your assertion is a little empty.

As for potesters -
what makes you think the Polish authorities have not done a background check on the protesters? ?? ?
And I sense that would expect that they ... what ? would handcuffed and named in the media?
I am of an opinion that intelligence work should be left to the intelligence services. And the Polish service has quite a few successes - most not reported - but some like uncovering this huge ring and making 16 as far as I remember arrests over the past year have been publicized.

John
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@Piotr, What was my "outlet" again?

You know I'm in Canada righ? I'll let you in on a little secret. I spend a good chunk of my volunteer time helping Ukraine in any way I can during russia's criminal invasion. I don't even personally know a Ukrainian let alone have any past tie there. I actually am reminds with a few polish families in these parts. Good people.

Like millions of other Ukraine supporters we continue to help Ukraine it because its morally and legally right. Because the option of letting putin's vile, criminal regime succeed grows less palatable every day.

The same reasons Poland's leader the revered Donald Tusk works to hep Ukraine and resolve dissent / crimes the MRGA cult spreads in his country. The same reason the huge majority of Polish people elected him so he could also continue to support Ukraine.

I'm sorry for those who hope otherwise, but russia is just not going to win this war.

Piotr
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@John, and HOW should I know where you are ??? why should I know this ??? and who are you referring to saying sorry to dissapoint???
trolling - that is wha it is BYE!

John
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@Piotr, I've been posting on KyivPost for months and often note I am from Canada. I'm probably the most prevalent poster. The MRGA commonly use my nationality in their taunts and insults to me. Frankly I'm flattered given where I know they come from and how much worse pretty much everything is there.

I assumed you would have known, but perhaps you are a new poster here.

I think what I wrote above regarding being sorry (tongue in cheek...not really sorry) was self evident. It's directed at any anyone reading my post who puts negative thing about Ukraine as their first entry under a newly appearing name. Its for anyone who comes to a Ukraine supporting site trying to communicate with the world the challenges they have and the help they need, that instead turns the article into a another chance to kick Ukraine while they are down. In short it's for MRGA bullies and trolls paid to be here.

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