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Grain scandal at the border: Polish minister apologizes for farmers and accuses Ukrainians of "emotionality"

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Sekerski believes that the farmers made a "gesture of desperation" rather than indulging Russia's interests

Polish Minister of Agriculture Czeslaw Sekerski apologized for the damage to Ukrainian grain during the farmers' strike at the border. However, the Polish politician also blamed Ukrainian authorities and their "too harsh statements" and "excessive emotionality," calling the deliberate destruction of grain an "act of desperation."

An official statement by Sekerski was published on the website of the Polish government. "On behalf of Polish farmers, I apologize for this act of desperation and ask you to understand their extremely difficult situation," the statement reads.

At the same time, Sekerski believes that the representatives of Ukraine were also wrong. "Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did not hold back either. The statements of the Deputy Minister of Economy (Taras Kachka - Ed.) and the mayor of Lviv (Andrii Sadovyi - Ed.) were too harsh. Other Ukrainian politicians were also overly emotional," the head of the Polish government said.

He assured that he favors dialogue and direct negotiations "as the best form of solving complex problems." Sekerski noted that technical consultations with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine are already underway.

"We want to define the terms of trade that would limit the inflow of goods that undermine the stability of agri-food markets... I understand the objections of the Ukrainian authorities regarding the difficulties with agricultural exports. I also fully realize that trade is a bilateral issue, and we also export to Ukraine. We have to remember that Polish farmers have helped Ukraine and still want to help, but they would like this help to be used by the Ukrainian budget, not by oligarchs who have huge areas for growing grain and other agricultural products," the Polish prime minister said in a statement.

The Polish politician also added that the European Commission would have to be involved in resolving the dispute. "The solution to the problems lies not only in Polish-Ukrainian relations. The European Commission is responsible for the organization and rules of trade in the European market," Sekerski summarized.

What statements by Kachka and Sadovyi outraged Sekerski

After Polish "activists" attacked Ukrainian trucks at the border, the mayor of Lviv called the protesting farmers pro-Russian provocateurs. "Let's call a spade a spade. This photo shows Ukrainian grain poured out of Ukrainian trucks by pro-Russian provocateurs.... Ukrainians are literally pouring blood on the fields that will give birth to this grain. Harvesting wheat in a field that has seen war is like working as a sapper," Sadovyi said, calling what happened "shameful."

Sadovyi on the grain incident

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, called on the Poles to come to their senses. In his opinion, if the Polish authorities do nothing, xenophobia and hostility towards Ukrainians in Poland will only grow.

"The only thing that can save us now is to lift all blockades and ensure the safety of Ukrainian cargo in Poland. Otherwise, Mekler (one of the organizers of the strike, Rafał Mekler) and his gang will start killing Ukrainians for being Ukrainians... We are at a crossroads: either to be afraid of violence that is destroying not Polish-Ukrainian trade but the Lublin Triangle ( as they destroyed grain that was headed to Lithuania) or finally come to their senses and talk like adults," the trade representative said.

Statement by Taras Kachka after the grain incident in Poland

Although the accusations of Russian pandering angered Sekerski, the Polish protests at the border do have a Russian trace. In particular, this protest of farmers at the border, like previous strikes by carriers, was organized and supported by a representative of the marginal Confederation party, Rafał Mekler.

"The Confederation has consistently opposed European values, advocated Poland's withdrawal from the European Union and active cooperation with Russia. The party, however, does not have wide support among Poles. The alliance with other fringe political forces allowed the Confederation to win 17 out of 460 seats in the Sejm in the last Polish parliamentary elections.

Rafał Mekler is also the leader of the far-right Ukrainophobic party Ruch Narodowy. He has been telling Poles about "Washington's plans," "the destructive influence of the EU," and so on for years. Mekler owns the logistics company Rafał Mekler TRANSPORT, which delivered goods to Russia. Since the fall of 2023, he has been personally attending protests on the border of Ukraine and actively promoting his ideas on social media.

Rafał Mekler rejoices as protesters pour Ukrainian grain on the road

Ukraine has also already stated that the deliberate destruction of goods has nothing to do with peaceful protests, neither legally nor morally. It is a matter of specific property issues, and therefore the problem must be solved by law enforcement and the perpetrators must be punished.

As reported, on February 13, about 1250 trucks were queuing at the border of Ukraine and Poland. Polish farmers are blocking 5 checkpoints.

The strike began on February 9 and, according to the organizers, will last at least 30 days. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the strike of Polish carriers is not over either. They announced that they would suspend the protests only until March 1.

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