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EU unlocks € 137 billion for Poland, sets aside € 1.4 billion for farmers

Polish farmers and truckers have blocked the Ukrainian border for four months, significantly affecting Ukrainian trade. However, neither the former nor current Polish government has effectively addressed the issue.
EU unlocks € 137 billion for Poland, sets aside € 1.4 billion for farmers
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Warsaw. Ursula von der Leyen via X/Twitter
EU unlocks € 137 billion for Poland, sets aside € 1.4 billion for farmers

The European Commission announced plans to release over €137 billion in EU payments to Poland which had been halted due to rule-of-law disputes with its previous government.

“Next week the EU Commission will advance two decisions on blocked European funds for Poland, leading to up to €137 billion made available,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during press statements in Warsaw.

The restored financing includes around €60 billion in COVID-19 recovery resources and green transition support. Another €76.5 billion allotment comes from cohesion funds designed to assist economic development in poorer EU member states like Poland.

“It’s a ton of money, we will use it well,” Polish PM Tusk responded.

Within the massive aid package, roughly €1.4 billion will support Polish farmers who have blocked the Ukrainian border for almost four months. They have urged Poland’s leaders and the EU to prohibit Ukrainian grain and agricultural imports.

Ukraine has proposed a five-point plan to Poland to resolve the blockage. PM Denys Shmyhal publicized the plan via Telegram.

  1. Ukraine accepts agricultural export restrictions recently proposed by the EU Commission targeting specific products like poultry, eggs and sugar;
  2. Ukraine requests the EU Commission to urgently review Kyiv’s agricultural policies and transportation to definitively address quality concerns;
  3. Ukraine and Poland jointly call on the EU to halt Russian agricultural imports which have actually increased since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine;
  4. A “tripartite task force” between Ukraine, Poland and the EU Commission focused on resolving outstanding trade issues should be formed;
  5. Poland ends the border blockade which has trapped over 9,000 trucks on both sides.

“Otherwise, Ukraine reserves the right to implement countermeasures,” wrote Shmyhal.

Earlier on 23 February, a proposed border meeting between Ukrainian and Polish officials did not occur. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal arrived at the border checkpoint hoping to address the blockade, but Polish officials did not show up.

Earlier on 23 February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a briefing in Lviv that a group of Ukrainian officials would go to the Polish border that day to meet with Polish counterparts. However, he said he did not know if Poland would participate.

On 21 February, Zelenskyy himself proposed the border meeting to unblock Ukraine’s borders. He said he would also be willing to attend.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk later rejected the proposal as “unnecessary symbolism,” while President Andrzej Duda was open to dialogue.

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