Polish PM: Completely ban the import of Russian and Belarusian agricultural products

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said today that Poland will ask the European Commission to impose full sanctions on Russian and Belarusian agricultural and food products

by Sededin Dedovic
Polish PM: Completely ban the import of Russian and Belarusian agricultural products
© Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk presented today a decisive position towards the European Commission, stressing the need for harsh measures against Russian and Belarusian agricultural and food products. The statement comes at a time when tensions are rising in the region, and Poland is seeking EU support to counter economic threats.

In his address to journalists in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, Tusk emphasized the importance of the joint action of the entire European Union in passing sanctions against Russia and Belarus. "I would like it if the whole EU would decide on sanctions against Russia and Belarus, especially when it comes to agricultural and food products," Tusk said.

His statement underscores the need for a coordinated approach within the EU in order to effectively respond to the challenges arising from the situation in the east. Evaluating the advantages of a joint EU decision, Tusk pointed out that such an approach would be more effective than individual actions of the member states.

This is especially important in the context of recent moves by certain member states, such as Latvia, which has already banned the import of agricultural products from Russia and Belarus. Such unilateral measures, although they show a certain level of engagement, can be limited in their impact and open up space for trade diversion through other countries.

The Polish Prime Minister announced that he will ask the Polish Parliament to adopt a resolution demanding the European Commission to introduce "full sanctions" on Russian and Belarusian agricultural and food products, which are not subject to the European embargo.

This initiative reflects Poland's desire to take a leading role in building a decisive EU response to violations of the international order by Russia and Belarus.

After eight years of Polands national conservative party in power, centrist Donald Tusk is back and set to forge a pro-EU govern© Omar Marques / Getty Images

Through this proposal, Tusk sees an opportunity to make the sanctions more "realistic" and at the same time release the potential for the export of Ukrainian agricultural and food products to third countries.

This is important given Poland's support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and Belarus. Enabling the export of Ukrainian products can be a step towards strengthening Ukraine's economy and supporting its efforts towards democratization and stabilization.

However, this proposal faces certain challenges, especially in the context of recent protests by European farmers. The demonstrations are directed against the European Green Pact and the import of Ukrainian agricultural products allowed by Brussels.

In Poland, farmers are blocking the country's main roads and border crossings with Ukraine, expressing concern over competition from cheaper Ukrainian products. These protests illustrate the complexity of the situation in which Poland finds itself.

On the one hand, there is a political will for harsh measures against Russia and Belarus in order to protect European interests and support Ukraine. On the other hand, the domestic agricultural sector faces economic pressures resulting from competition with cheaper Ukrainian products.

This creates a dilemma for Polish authorities, who must balance geopolitical interests with economic priorities. Despite the challenges, Prime Minister Tusk's proposal represents a step towards strengthening the common European response to current challenges in Poland and the region.

Polish Minister of Defense Władysław Kośnjak-Kamish 2 days ago emphasized his country's unwavering position regarding the issue of nuclear weapons, stressing that Poland will continue to act in accordance with agreements within the NATO alliance, instead of individually striving to acquire nuclear weapons.

In a statement to journalists, the minister pointed out that Poland is part of NATO, a community of states that already have nuclear arsenals. Recalling the basic principles of the NATO alliance, he emphasized that it is the duty of the allies to jointly defend their territories, using all available forces and means, while it is important to emphasize that nuclear weapons are considered the last means of deterrence.

"There is a clear hierarchy in the use of nuclear weapons, and no country wants to face the consequences of a nuclear conflict," emphasized Minister Košnjak-Kamiš. He added that the basic mission of NATO is precisely deterrence and defense, and that any decisions regarding nuclear weapons must be made at the allied level, not individually.

Previously, the head of Polish diplomacy, Radoslav Shikorski, in a conversation with the Western media, expressed concern about the possibility of a lack of American support for Ukraine and the consequences it could have on the global stage.

He pointed out the possibility that some countries, faced with a lack of support, would start developing their own nuclear military programs. "The lack of US support for Ukraine could encourage some countries to consider the option of developing their own nuclear programs," Shikorsky warned.

In this regard, the former Polish government, represented by the conservative Pravo i Pravda party, tried for years to convince the US to include Poland in the Nuclear Sharing program. This program involves the deployment of American nuclear missiles, but that will not happen, at least not now.

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