Polish farmers block highway at border crossing with Germany


  • World
  • Monday, 26 Feb 2024

A drone photo shows Polish farmers blocking the A2 motorway to protest over price pressures, taxes and green regulation, grievances shared by farmers across Europe and against the import of agricultural produce and food products from Ukraine, close to the Polish-German border, near Swiecko, Poland February 25, 2024. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish farmers protesting against European Union regulations and cheap food imports from Ukraine blocked the A2 highway at a border crossing with Germany on Monday.

Farmers across Europe have been protesting for weeks against constraints placed on them by European Union measures to tackle climate change, as well as rising costs and what they say is unfair competition from outside the EU, particularly Ukraine.

Polish farmers planned to block the Swiecko crossing with Germany until early afternoon, said Adrian Wawrzyniak, a spokesperson for the Solidarity farmers' union.

"As far as I know, there are also German farmers on the German side, the crossing is blocked from both sides," he said.

"This is a show of common solidarity, that both Polish and German farmers will not allow these goods from Ukraine to continue to enter the European market. It's a common cause."

Farmers' trade unions plan a big protest in the Polish capital Warsaw on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Andrzej Duda said on Monday farmers' problems needed fixing at an EU level.

"Poland is the first EU country (on the border with Ukraine), but in fact it is a problem of the EU as a whole, of EU agriculture as a whole, and it should be considered in this context," Tusk told a press conference.

"The EU should stand firm and resolve this issue at the European level, including supporting Polish farmers."

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov has urged Poland to punish those responsible for spills of a Ukrainian grain cargo on the Polish side of the border at the weekend.

Private Polish radio RMF FM reported on Monday that police were investigating an incident in which hundreds of nails and screws were scattered on a road near the Polish-Ukrainian frontier point of Hrebenne-Rawa Ruska.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Pawel Florkiewicz and Marek Strzelecki; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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