Zelensky sends the government to the border with Poland and invites Prime Minister Tusk there

Liza Brovko

Due to the Polesʼ blockade of Ukraineʼs western border, President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the government to be at the border with Poland by February 24 and asked Prime Minister Donald Tusk to come there as well. He also called on Polish President Andrzej Duda to support the government dialogue.

"I am also ready to be at the border together with our government. And I want to address now to the European Commission: unity in Europe must be preserved. This is a fundamental interest of the European Union," the president added.

Ukraine also appealed to the European Commission to have its representative participate in the meeting of the governments of the countries.

What is happening at the border

From November 2023, Poles periodically block checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. Polish carriers, and then farmers, have been obstructing the movement of trucks for varying lengths of time, demanding from their authorities and the European Union to improve working conditions and preferences. They are asking for a ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine that do not meet EU standards, the return of the permit system for Ukrainian transporters, subsidies for fertilizers, compensation for excise duty on fuel, payment of subsidies, and have other demands that have nothing to do with Ukraine.

On February 20, Polish farmers began a general strike across the country. The Association of Hunters joined them. Protesters blocked six checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. But in the evening of the same day, traffic restrictions at three checkpoints were eased.

In response, Ukrainian carriers blocked three points. The action will last until March 15 or until the borders are unblocked by Polish demonstrators. Carriers say they will let in Polish trucks with the same delay as Poles let in Ukrainian trucks.