News

Zelensky says Polish border blockade shows ‘erosion of solidarity’

Zelensky aide denies Ukraine link to Moscow attack
Image: Video Screenshot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday denounced a weeks long border blockade by Polish truckers and farmers which his government has said threatens the country’s security.

Polish farmers have been blocking Ukrainian cargo to protest against what they say is unfair competition.

The row has strained relations between the neighbours, even though Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia invaded in February 2022.

“Things that are happening on our western border, the border with Poland, cannot be considered normal or ordinary,” Zelensky said, adding the situation “demonstrates the erosion of solidarity on a daily basis.”

Road traffic into EU member Poland has been an export lifeline for Ukrainian companies after the Russian invasion held up major trading routes through the Black Sea.

But the increased shipments have angered Polish logistics companies and farmers, who say their Ukrainian rivals are undercutting them.

“In reality, the situation is not about grain, but rather about politics,” Zelensky said, arguing that only 5 percent of agricultural exports went through the Polish border.

Six border crossings were being blocked on the Polish side, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Monday.

“Blocking the border is a direct threat to the security of a defending country,” Kubrakov said on Facebook.

“They are blocking everything. There are trucks with fuel. There were cases a few days ago when protestors didn’t let several trucks with weapons pass,” Kubrakov told state TV.

A Polish official said there was a queue of around 600 trucks waiting to leave Poland for Ukraine at the Dorohusk border crossing.

“The estimated waiting time for this number of trucks to leave is approximately 232 hours,” Michal Derus, a spokesman for the tax administration chamber in Poland’s Lublin told AFP.

He said more than two dozen trucks crossed the border to Ukraine at night, but “no truck entered Poland.”

“Therefore, it should be presumed that this is a complete blockade,” he said.

The situation is expected to intensify on Tuesday when Polish farmers are calling for a halt to all border traffic with Ukraine.

About the author

AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







Daily Newsletter