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The protests in Poland captured the world's attention

Протестите в Полша приковаха световното внимание

Polish farmers have spoken out against unfair price competition from Ukrainian grain that threatens their livelihoods and began disrupting traffic across the country with blockades on February 20, a move Ukraine said would have an impact on the military situation, Reuters reported.

Protesters at the Medica border crossing began to open the rail cars, and the grain spilled onto the tracks. Ukraine defined this as a "political provocation", and the Poles explained that the two problems have nothing in common and the speculations on the Ukrainian side are incorrect.

Poland has been among Ukraine's staunchest supporters since the war began in February 2022. Poland's new pro-EU government has expressed sympathy for the farmers' demands, but also urged them not to take actions that could harm Ukraine's war effort .

A spokesman for the Solidarity farmers' union said military aid to Ukraine would be allowed through, but all commercial traffic along the border would be blocked, not just trucks. Ports and highways will also be blocked.

The protesters' tractors carried banners that read "With grain flowing from Ukraine, Polish farmers will go bankrupt," according to Reuters.

Ukraine said its agricultural supplies through Eastern Europe had not affected markets. Ukrainian carriers launched their own round-the-clock counter-demonstrations at three crossings. Their protest is expected to last until March 15.

Regardless of Ukraine's claims, farmers across Europe took to the streets to protest unfair competition. In June 2022, as part of its efforts to help Ukraine fight Russia, the European Union waived tariffs on Ukrainian grain imports. Months later, this is seen as a serious mistake that has left Europe's markets unprotected.

Until mid-September last year, the EU allowed five countries - Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while allowing them to transit for export elsewhere.

Polish Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Sikerski said earlier that he was in talks with Ukraine and that a deal to limit imports could be reached by the end of March.

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