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'Border сlosure not mentioned': Ukraine and Poland hold talks on unblocking

'Border сlosure not mentioned': Ukraine and Poland hold talks on unblocking Taras Kachka, trade representative of Ukraine (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Representatives of Ukraine and Poland held negotiations today, February 28, regarding the unblocking of the border. The option of suspending trade was not mentioned, according to the trade representative of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, on Facebook.

Taras Kachka, Ukraine's trade representative, reported that he met with Poland's Minister of Development and Technology, Krzysztof Hetman, and Minister of Agriculture, Czesław Siekierski. The negotiations lasted for 4 hours.

"We were able to come to an understanding and are working on a constructive solution to unblock the border and consider the interests of Polish and Ukrainian farmers. It's not easy, but it's possible," Kachka noted.

According to him, the proposals from Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal regarding the border unblocking are crucial for building mutual understanding.

"During all four hours of negotiations, the option of border closure was not mentioned. As Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk clearly stated, it would be a very painful decision for our economies," the trade representative explained.

He clarified that suspending trade, which amounts to $11.7 billion annually, even for a day, would be too painful, not to mention transit.

"So far, no details, but a constructive solution is possible. Therefore, I encourage everyone to read Donald Tusk's statement fully and carefully—with all elements of rhetoric and punctuation. News headlines can be misleading. At this moment, more than ever, we will maintain calm and work persistently," Kachka emphasized.

What Tusk said

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk previously stated that Ukraine and Poland "are negotiating the temporary closure of the border for goods exchange."

He noted that such a decision would be painful. However, they are ready to accept it with Kyiv's consent to avoid unnecessary tension between the countries.

Polish farmers have been blocking the border with Ukraine for several weeks. They have disrupted the movement of trucks through border checkpoints, affecting Ukraine's exports.

Farmers demand that the Polish government extend restrictions on imports from Ukraine to a range of goods. Currently, only grain is banned.