Kiev can enact “reciprocal” measures if Polish farmers continue their blockades at the border, the PM said A farmer with a Polish flag at the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, eastern Poland on February 9, 2024. © Wojtek Radwanski / AFP

Kiev reserves the right to retaliate against Poland if it does not convince protesting farmers to stop blocking the border crossings, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal said on Friday.

The Polish farmers are accusing both Kiev and Warsaw of threatening their livelihood by allowing the imports of cheap Ukrainian grain and other agricultural produce.

“The issue of the blocking of the border must be resolved way before March 28 – the date when the governments of Ukraine and Poland are due to hold a joint session,” Shmigal wrote on his Telegram channel. “If this doesn’t happen, Ukraine will reserve the right to enact reciprocal measures regarding the points of entry.”

Poland is one of Ukraine’s most vocal backers in Europe and has supplied Kiev with multiple weapons systems, including tanks and self-propelled howitzers. The fight over grain has caused a significant rift between the neighbors, with Polish President Andrzej Duda accusing Ukraine last fall of “flooding” his country with cheap produce.

Shmigal said that Polish officials had ignored the invitation to meet in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. “The president of Ukraine had proposed this venue to negotiate and reach a compromise – here, at the border, as equal partners and allies,” the prime minister wrote on social media on Friday. “But, unfortunately, such a meeting with Polish officials did not take place today.”

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He said that Ukraine has not been selling grain in Poland for the past five months, and that Ukrainian businessmen are only using the Polish territory to deliver the goods to other countries. Shmigal reiterated that the continuing blockade “poses a threat to the national security of Ukraine.”

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s chief of staff Jan Grabiec told AFP that no delegation had been sent to Lviv because a meeting “makes no sense at the moment.” He added that the sides were “far” from reaching a deal.

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

Tusk told reporters on Thursday that Poland will continue to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. “However, we should also protect Polish farmers and the Polish market against the negative consequences of opening the borders for agricultural products,” the prime minister said. (RT)