Polish farmers protest on border crossing with Ukraine

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Farmers in eastern Poland have blocked traffic near the border with Ukraine, protesting against the inflow of Ukrainian grain.

Polish farmers have complained for months about the inflow of Ukrainian produce to Poland, which has depressed local prices and made it difficult to sell their own grain. The latest protest came despite Polish and EU efforts to soften the market impact of Ukrainian agricultural goods.

The Polish road authority, GDDKiA, said on Friday that due to the farmers' protest a national road leading to the border crossing in Dorohusk was blocked, with only vehicles with humanitarian aid being allowed to pass.

The protest is the result of the government's failure to implement promises aimed at stabilizing the grain market, farmers claim.

Yielding to farmers' pressure, Poland introduced a temporary ban on Ukrainian food in April, a move which was contested by the European Union as unilateral. But arguments from EU member states bordering Ukraine have persuaded the European Commission (EC) to introduce an EU ban on Ukrainian grains in countries neighbouring Ukraine. On June 6, the EC extended the ban on imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds from Ukraine until mid-September.