Poland says 'far from deal' on Ukraine farm imports | World News - Hindustan Times
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Poland says 'far from deal' on Ukraine farm imports

AFP |
Feb 24, 2024 08:18 AM IST

Poland says 'far from deal' on Ukraine farm imports

Poland and Ukraine are far from a deal on Ukrainian agricultural imports blocked at their border by protesting Polish farmers, Prime Minister Donald Tusk's chief of staff told AFP Friday.

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Polish farmers have blockaded border crossing points for weeks, complaining at what they consider unfair competition from Ukrainian produce.

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Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal went to the border on Friday after offering talks, but Poland did not send a representative. Lower-level talks have been held with little sign of progress.

The state of discussions "does not allow us to say we have a satisfactory solution for the Polish side or Polish farmers," said Jan Grabiec, the Polish prime minister's top aide.

"We are far from such a deal.

"Unfortunately, there is not yet a Ukrainian proposition that allows to hope for an end to the deadlock in commercial relations."

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky sent Shmygal to the border to try to end the impasse, which he says has delayed aid and weapons entering the country as it struggles with its war against Russia.

"Unfortunately, Polish government officials did not come, but we publicly appealed to them, gave our proposals, and will continue this work," Shmygal said.

Grabiec said a border meeting "makes no sense at the moment", when asked why no Polish officials had gone there.

"There are no mutually satisfactory solutions and it is not useful to organise a meeting to confirm that there is no compromise."

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday that the two countries would hold talks in Warsaw on March 28 and that ministers from the neighbours were in contact.

Poland has been a key ally for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

But farmers' protests in recent weeks have strained relations.

The farmers have blocked roads across Poland, as well as at the frontier, to protest over European Union regulations, increased taxes and imports -- including from Ukraine -- that do not have to meet EU production rules.

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