Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Czesław Siekierski referred to the incident of grain spilling on the border with Ukraine. In his opinion, “this is not the right form of protest, but it is often used by farmers in various countries.” “Farmers have not controlled their emotions, but it should be remembered that they are in a very difficult economic situation,” emphasized the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. At the same time, Siekierski apologized on behalf of Polish farmers “for such an act of desperation.” The Polish minister also pointed out that “representatives of the Ukrainian authorities also showed no restraint.”
The case concerns protesting farmers who stopped three Ukrainian trucks and dumped grain on the road. The incident occurred on Sunday around 11:30 a.m. on national road number 12, leading to the border crossing in Dorohusk, near the site of the farmers’ protest.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Czesław Siekierski does not hide that “the situation is tense.” “Polish farmers spilled some grain from Ukrainian trucks. In my opinion, this is not the right form of protest, but it is often used by farmers in various countries. Farmers have not controlled their emotions, but it should be remembered that they are in a very difficult economic situation. On the threshold spring field work, they do not have money to buy fertilizers and plant protection products. It is hard not to understand their desperation,” emphasized Minister Siekierski in a comment published on the ministry’s website.
“I am a supporter of dialogue and direct talks as the best form of solving difficult problems,” declared the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Minister Siekierski about the incident with Ukrainian grain at the crossing in Dorohusk
“On behalf of Polish farmers, I apologize for such an act of desperation and ask you to understand their exceptionally difficult situation. We are conducting technical talks with the Ministry of Agriculture of Ukraine, during which we want to define trade conditions that would limit the inflow of goods that violate the stability of agri-food markets,” he added.
At the same time, Minister Siekierski pointed out that “however representatives of the Ukrainian authorities were also not restrained“. “The forms of speech of the Minister of Economy, and previously the mayor of Lviv, were too harsh. Other Ukrainian politicians were also too emotional when providing information, he noted.
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development admitted that he understood “the opposition of the Ukrainian authorities to the difficulties in exporting agricultural products.” “I am also fully aware that trade goes both ways and we also export to Ukraine. Let us remember, however, that Polish farmers have helped Ukraine and still want to help. However, they would like the Ukrainian budget to benefit from this aid, to benefit the farmers, not the oligarchs who have huge areas for growing cereals and conducting other types of agricultural production. They are mainly behind this large import, which undermines the stabilization of agri-food markets in Europe,” said Czesław Siekierski.
The Minister of Agriculture noted that “the solutions to the problems do not lie only in Polish-Ukrainian relations, because the European Commission is responsible for the organization and rules of trade on the common European market.”
The prosecutor’s office initiated an investigation
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Chełm has initiated an investigation into the spilling of grain from Ukrainian trucks in front of the crossing in Dorohusk. The proceedings are aimed at destroying property and breaking customs security, which may result in up to 5 years in prison.
– The investigation was initiated in two directions, i.e. destruction of property and breach of customs security. Proceedings are ongoing in the case. We are interviewing witnesses, securing monitoring and documentation of these three transports, Agnieszka Kępka, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin, said on Monday afternoon.
As Ewa Czyż from the Municipal Police Headquarters in Chełm reported on Sunday, “three trucks driven by Ukrainian citizens entered Poland after clearance.” – The protest participants did not allow the transport to go any further and at one point they opened the trailers, which caused some grain to spill onto the road. The drivers turned around Ukraine – she said.
Main photo source: PAP/Wojtek Jargiło