Kiev asks Warsaw to punish those behind the dumping of Ukrainian grain

Oleksandr Kubrakov / Photo EPA-EFE/Chris J. Ratcliffe

Kiev has called on Warsaw to punish those responsible for spilling Ukrainian grain at the border over the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Monday.

Around 160 tonnes of Ukrainian grain were destroyed at a Polish railway station during the protests, in what a senior Ukrainian official said on Sunday, an act of "impunity and irresponsibility".

"Those who damaged the Ukrainian grain must be found, neutralized and punished. Two friendly, civilized European states are interested in this," Kubrakov wrote on X.

Polish farmers protesting what they describe as unfair competition from Ukraine and European Union environmental regulations have blocked border crossings with Ukraine as well as highways and deliberately dumped Ukrainian products from rail cars.

Previous incidents of grain being spilled from trains occurred on the border with Ukraine last week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Sunday that it was important for Ukraine to maintain close relations with Poland, but that Kiev was ready to defend businesses hurt by border blockades by Polish protesters.

"Unfortunately, the blockade continues," Ukrainian border service spokesman Andriy Demchenko said on television.

"In total, 2.200 trucks are waiting in line on Polish territory and (Polish) farmers are releasing several vehicles (in total) per hour in both directions. Trucks coming from Ukraine are more blocked," he said.

Ukraine said the blockade had caused severe economic losses and hampered its military efforts.

It said cross-border transport had increased due to the war with Russia and the fact that its main export and import routes through the Black Sea had been blocked.

Farmers across Europe have been demonstrating over a range of grievances, including what they say is unfair competition from abroad, particularly Ukraine, following the EU's decision in 2022 to waive import duties on Ukrainian food in the face of war with Russia.

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