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Tusk believes there is nothing that could undermine friendship between Ukraine, Poland

After a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, the Polish prime minister reported progress in resolving problematic issues. 

Tusk believes there is nothing that could undermine friendship between Ukraine, Poland
Donald Tusk and Denys Shmyhal
Photo: screengrab

There is no force capable of undermining the friendship between Ukraine and Poland, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.

At a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal in Warsaw, he said that today's meeting had been preceded by hundreds of hours of talks between ministries and experts. Tusk added that even among the closest friends there are conflicts of interest and different points of view.

"Regardless of the difficulties and conflicts of interest, we are concluding these conversations with an even deeper conviction that there is no force in the world, in Ukraine, in Poland, that could undermine our friendship, our solidarity, our cooperation, especially in the face of a common threat, which is Russia's aggression in Ukraine and Russia's aggressive policy towards the European Union," he said.

Tusk assured that Ukraine can count on Poland's full support for its European integration, and that no one and nothing will divide the Poles on this issue.

They also talked about "emotional issues," he added.

"We have made a step forward in the issue of agriculture," the Polish prime minister said.

Firstly, Poland wants to block the import of Russian and Belarusian agricultural goods - they are going to impose a 50% duty on them, which will effectively mean an export blockade.

Secondly, Poland is looking for solutions that would give its farmers a sense of security. Tusk added that it is necessary to find solutions that would satisfy both Ukraine and Poland, even if it is not possible to take into account all the requirements in full.

Shmyhal called today's talks an intense and useful dialogue.

"Ukraine and Poland are strategic allies," he said.

Shmyhal said that strategic relations involve mutual trust and the ability to compromise. 

The Ukrainian prime minister noted that the blockade of the Ukrainian border by some Polish groups is damaging the economies of Ukraine, Poland and the entire EU. Currently, out of 17 million tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural products, only 2 million tonnes have been transported by land across the western border. This was possible thanks to the Defence Forces, which unblocked the sea route. However, this path is highly dependent on the security situation.

"Today, Ukrainian grain does not enter the Polish market," he added.

The countries are currently working on five steps:

Ukraine has agreed to certain restrictions and safeguards imposed by the European Commission on agricultural exports. The country did this for the sake of the interests of its allies.

Ukraine agrees to conduct an urgent screening of legislation in the agricultural sector. This is expected to happen at the end of April.

Poland and other countries should ban the export of Russian and Belarusian agricultural exports. The corresponding decision to increase duties on goods from Russia and Belarus is to be officially approved at the Brussels level.

A joint anti-crisis headquarters will be set up.

Ukraine has asked for free transfer of ammunition, humanitarian aid and fuel - this was also discussed. 

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