Fact Check: Poland Does NOT Refuse To Protect Farmers From Ukrainian Grain Imports


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Poland Does NOT Refuse To Protect Farmers From Ukrainian Grain Imports Bans Imports

Does Poland's government refuse to protect the country's farmers from cheap grain imported from Ukraine? No, that's not true: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has kept the previous government's ban on Ukrainian grain imports. He is also pressing the European Union to find "more effective ways to protect the European and Polish markets" from Ukrainian competition.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on March 7, 2024, under the title (translated from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories) "Grain war" and the caption "🇺🇦Low-grade Ukrainian or 🇭🇺premium Hungarian?" The presenter, Dániel Bohár, is a partner at Megafon Center, which produces social media content in support of Hungary's governing Fidesz party. He said (as translated):

The farmers are protesting in Warsaw and on the border as well because bad-quality grain brought in from Ukraine is destroying them. At this very minute, 2,300 trucks are standing by at the Polish-Ukrainian border. Polish farmers are not letting them in ... The Polish government does not want to protect its own producers from this. This is what happens if a mandatory-compliance favorite of Brussels like Tusk comes into the seat of power instead of a politician who keeps his eye on national interests.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-03-19 at 4.46.56.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Mar 19 03:46:56 2024 UTC)

The European Union (EU) lifted trade barriers on Ukrainian products on June 4, 2022, in order to "help alleviate the difficult situation faced by Ukrainian producers and exporters because of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression," according to a statement on the European Commission's website (archived here). The bloc implemented temporary restrictions on Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed on May 2, 2023, to protect markets in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia, the statement said.

When the EU's restrictions expired on September 15, 2023, the government of former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced it would impose its own ban on Ukrainian grain, according to a report by Reuters (archived here). Contrary to Bohár's claim, Tusk, who took over as prime minister on December 11, 2023, has kept the embargo in place, according to an article by Deutsche Welle (archived here).

On February 27, 2024, Tusk raised the possibility of even wider restrictions on Ukrainian imports during a visit to Prague, Reuters reported (archived here). He said:

We are talking about it with the Ukrainian side -- that it will be necessary to expand the embargo to other products if the European Union does not find more effective ways to protect the European and Polish markets.

Polish farmers have launched nationwide protests against EU agricultural rules (archived here), including the decision to abolish trade barriers for Ukrainian grain.

Tusk is a political rival of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom he accuses of favoring Russian President Vladimir Putin in his war with Ukraine. According to an article published by Euractiv on January 23, 2024 (archived here), Tusk said of Orbán:

Those who silently support Putin are betraying Europe in every way and will be remembered and not forgiven.


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