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Zelenskyy: “We are playing into the Russian side with these facts”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a press conference during the “Ukraine. Year 2024” forum on 25 February 2024.
Zelenskyy: “We are playing into the Russian side with these facts”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on 25 February 2024 at a press conference during the “Ukraine. Year 2024” forum that he does not “understand the purpose of such a policy” of scattering Ukrainian agricultural products.

On the night of 25 February, some 160 tons of Ukrainian grain from 8 cars were scattered at the Kotomezh railway station in Poland. According to the ministry, the cargo was in transit to the port of Gdansk, from where it is going to other countries. It’s the fourth incident of ‘vandalism’ towards Ukrainian grain shipments at Polish rail stations, according to Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov.

“We are playing into the Russian side with these facts. This is simply wrong between us,” Zelenskyy said.

According to the President, the new Polish government must resolve this issue

“It is important to understand that this is not taking place on Ukrainian territory. The new Polish government must resolve this issue. I am not saying what they should do internally. But as far as international relations with Ukraine are concerned – spilling the grain a fourth time is not right. If there was a desire, I think there are enough opportunities to prevent this from happening again.”

“The Ukrainian side is fulfilling its obligations in good faith and, in accordance with the agreements with the Polish government, does not export certain types of agricultural products to Poland. This has been confirmed at the official level – no grain, corn, or rapeseed remains there,” Ukraine’s Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

Kubrakov also criticized the lack of action from the Polish side: “This is the fourth case of vandalism at Polish railway stations. This is the fourth case of impunity and irresponsibility.”

The last time a train carrying Ukrainian agricultural products was damaged was at the Dorohusk station in Poland on 24 February, a two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The previous two occurred on the morning of 23 February at the Dorohusk railway station and on 20 February near the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing in Poland.

Zelenskyy also spoke out about the Polish border blockade. “There is an internal struggle in Poland. Using Ukraine as leverage against European institutions is unfair. Preserving our alliance with Poland is important to us. If solutions are not found, we will protect our business interests.”

But Poland and the Polish people are also suffering, Zelenskyy said.

“The import of Polish goods to Ukraine annually is 1.7 billion UAH ($43 million). Polish protesters have been blocking these goods since April 2023. If you divide 1.7 billion by 12 months, you get 150 million per month. That’s how much Poland is losing each month. For what purpose?”

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