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23 Feb. 2024


Blockade of Ukraine's border: what is happening now and is there a threat to military supplies



Blockade of Ukraine's border: what is happening now and is there a threat to military supplies

Polish protesters continue to block the Ukrainian border over agrarian disagreements with Ukraine. However, the Poles' actions have gone far beyond simply blockading grain. Find out how the protests will affect prices in Ukraine and what the Ukrainian government is proposing for a solution

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More useful news in our Telegram channel

The Polish government did not come to the border to meet with their Ukrainian counterparts, as requested by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his recent address to the Poles. Currently, Polish protesters continue to block the Ukrainian border, mock Ukrainian grain and delay the delivery of humanitarian aid and military supplies. 

It is worth noting that the situation with the blocking of Ukraine's border worsened a few days ago. Today, for example, the protesters again resorted to desecrating food and spilled Ukrainian grain from three grain trucks at the Dorohusk checkpoint.

"I can only say that unpunished crimes always return. Whether it is military aggression or damaged grain. The criminals must be found and punished immediately so that others are not tempted to repeat them," commented Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine.

Ukraine does not supply grain to Poland

The situation with the border blockade is becoming increasingly unclear. On Friday, 23 February, the Prime Minister of Ukraine said that his country has not been selling its grain, corn, sunflower seeds and rapeseed to the Polish market for 5 months.

"Ukrainian grain is only in transit through Poland. Today, only 5% of our agricultural exports pass through the Polish border. The main route is the 'grain corridor' across the Black Sea," the Prime Minister said.

In addition, according to him, the blockade is affecting the entire Polish-Ukrainian trade and the economies of our countries. Not only Ukraine loses from it, but Polish entrepreneurs who export goods worth $12 billion annually to our market lose from it.

By the way, this is exactly what the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland, Czeslaw Sekerski, also said in a letter to the protesters:

"The complete closure of the border may help stop the export of Polish goods to Ukraine. This, in turn, could lead to the loss of many jobs."

At the same time, Ukraine has developed five steps to unblock the border. The Head of the Ukrainian government noted that the protesters' actions have long gone beyond the grain blockade. Today, this blockade threatens national security. Kyiv hopes to come to a mutual solution.

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Will goods in Ukraine become more expensive?

According to Ukrinform, the Association of Retailers of Ukraine notes that the situation with the blockade at the border is becoming "critical", as the total waiting time to cross the checkpoints in some cases reaches a month. Alternative routes increase the cost of each flight by 600-1000 euros, which leads to higher prices for a number of goods for the end consumer.

The situation may be particularly critical for chains importing food, including vegetables, fruit, fish, cereals and dairy products, if they are unable to ensure proper temperature conditions.

In addition, the former director of A-95 Consulting Group Sergiy Kuyun told the same Ukrinform that due to the need to bypass the Polish section of the border when importing liquefied gas, the price of this fuel could rise by up to UAH 3 per litre. At the same time, no shortage of autogas is expected.

What is the reaction in Poland?

After Zelenskyy publicly invited the Polish government to hold a meeting at the border by 24 February, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that such a meeting would not take place.

At the same time, he said that representatives of the governments of Ukraine and Poland would hold a meeting to resolve the border blockade in Warsaw on 28 March.

According to Tusk, the Polish government will continue to "look for protective solutions for Polish farmers", both internally and using national funds, as well as through further negotiations with Ukraine and the EU. The government also wants to establish a line of compromise and agreement with the farmers protesters that would suit them and allow them to stop the protests.

Is there a threat to the supply of military aid to Ukraine?

Regarding critical goods (weapons, humanitarian aid, etc.) travelling through Poland to Ukraine, Tusk said that the government will include the checkpoint infrastructure in the list of critical infrastructure. Thus, Warsaw intends to take control of the road sections towards the checkpoints to guarantee the supply of goods needed by Ukraine.

This step could ease the situation for Ukraine with the import of military and humanitarian supplies. However, it is unclear whether it will fully solve the problem of road blocking.

However, this issue could be resolved by the Trilateral Headquarters (Ukraine, Poland and the EU), which was proposed to be set up by the Ukrainian government to address the situation at the border.

Photo: Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja via REUTERS

We remind you! A new border crossing point on the border between Ukraine and Poland, Nyzhankovychi - Malkhovychi, is being prepared for launch. It is known that the construction of this checkpoint began in 2021 and is already at the final stage. Read more about the plans for commissioning here.

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