The Polish-Ukrainian border crossing at Hrebenne. Polish farmers plan a total blockade of all border crossings with Ukraine. (Photo by Olena Danylo /Suspilne Ukraine/JSC "UA:PBC"/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)


Polish farmers plan to ‘shut all Ukraine borders’


Polish farmers intend a total blockade of all border crossings with Ukraine, a trade union said, escalating their month-long strike that began in protest against European Union policies.

“On February 20, as part of the 30-day general strike of farmers, we announce that all protest activities will be focused on a complete blockade of all border crossings between Poland and Ukraine and protests in the field,” the Solidarity farmers’ union said.

“Not only border crossings will be blocked but also communication hubs and access roads to trans-shipment railway stations and sea ports.”

Farmers across Europe have been demonstrating against constraints placed on them by EU measures to tackle climate change, as well as rising costs and what they say is unfair competition from abroad, particularly Ukraine.

In Poland, farmers have been particularly vocal about the impact of cheap food imports from Ukraine. They began a 30-day strike on February 9 that has already seen them block roads across the country as well as border crossings with Ukraine.

A previously announced “star march”, also on February 20, will see farmers descend on Warsaw from all directions.

In the Czech Republic, the country’s Agrarian Chamber said that on February 22 groups of farmers from across central and Eastern Europe will congregate at their countries’ borders for a joint “day of protest”.

Czech farmers will start their protests on February 19 with a blockade of traffic in Prague, the Chamber said.