'Stop hurting Ukraine' - Polish PM Tusk asks farmers to end border blockades

Donald Tusk
Donald Tusk

Warning that the fate of the war could be decided soon, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called on protesting farmers to end their border blockades, Polish Radio reported.

Read also: Farmers' protests cause grief for Ukrainians, and ‘shameful’ embarrassment for many Poles, says Polish political expert

Tusk spoke about Ukraine's challenging situation following the European Council summit in Brussels, referring to the recent series of massive Russian bombardments across Ukraine.

"I want to address everyone in Poland without exception - do not do anything that could harm Ukraine," Tusk said.

Poland must make decisions to protect its border and border crossings, he said.

Read also: Polish and Ukrainian agricultural groups to meet this month to hammer out blockade-ending compromise

Polish authorities cannot allow the blockade of crossings, regardless of the justification for the protests, he warned.

"We cannot in any way harm Ukraine when the fate of the war is being decided," Tusk said.

Border checkpoints are classified as critical infrastructure by the Polish government. Poland is prepared to further assist those who have lost part of their income through no fault of their own.

Read also: Insiders confirm ‘odd’ behavior of Polish delegate at Ukraine talks

"I count on reflection - and the abandonment of this form of protest (blockades - ed.)," he said.

Ukrainian-Polish border blockade

Polish protesters began restricting transport at the border with Ukraine on Feb. 20.

Trucks were blocked at the Medyka — Shehyni, Dolhobyczow — Uhryniv, Zosin — Ustyluh, Korczowa — Krakovets, Hrebenne — Rava-Ruska, and Dorohusk — Yahodyn checkpoints.

Cases of political provocations and spoilage of Ukrainian agricultural products have accompanied the border blockade.

European Parliament Committee supported the extension of duty-free trade for Ukraine on March 7.

Ukraine announced its readiness to restrict trade with the EU on the same day, but on its own terms.

Polish farmers went on a major strike on March 20, during which roadblocks and protests took place throughout the country. They completely blocked truck traffic at the Yahodyn and Rava-Ruska checkpoints.

Polish farmers were not allowing trucks from Ukraine to pass through the Yahodyn and Rava-Ruska checkpoints on March 24.

Read also: Trade and protests at heart of Polish-Ukrainian border talks

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine