Miller Expresses Concerns About Ukraine's Admission to the EU: "No One Can Compete With Them"

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.17 - 2024 10:04 AM CET

Photo: Tomasz Bidermann / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Tomasz Bidermann / Shutterstock.com
Miller Expresses Concerns About Ukraine's Admission to the EU.

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Leszek Miller, a former Prime Minister of Poland and now a Member of the European Parliament, has voiced his apprehensions regarding the protesting farmers in light of Ukraine's potential admission into the European Union.

Miller, who led the government from 2001 to 2004, expressed his concerns during the program "Fakt LIVE," stating that the inclusion of Ukraine into the EU would deal a very painful, even fatal blow to Polish agriculture.

Polish farmers have been protesting against the European Commission's recent decision to extend tariff-free trade with Ukraine until 2025. The protestors blocked streets in over 260 Polish cities on Friday, February 9. The protests are against the uncontrolled import of grain from Ukraine.

Miller's Fears Over Ukraine's EU Admission

Miller described the situation at the border with Ukraine as madness. The former Prime Minister emphasized that while military aid to Ukrainians is one thing, Polish agriculture must be considered. He expressed concerns about Ukraine's possible EU membership, suggesting it would pose significant problems for European agriculture.

"Imagine what will happen if Ukraine joins the European Union and there is no possibility to control and regulate the influx of goods," the former head of the Council of Ministers began. "This would mean that Polish agriculture, as well as Romanian, Bulgarian, and Slovak agriculture, would receive very painful, even fatal blows because no one can compete with Ukraine's production," Miller highlighted.

"We think their agriculture is similar to Poland's. But in Poland, the average farm is about 11 hectares, while in Ukraine, there are large estates, large agricultural enterprises that have 600, 700, or even 800 thousand hectares," the MEP stated. "How can one compete with that on the same terms? It's simply not possible!" he added.

"Ukraine Must Get Used to Having No Concessions"

The former Prime Minister noted that most of these large farms belong to Ukrainian oligarchs, who also sit in the Ukrainian parliament, as well as enterprises owned by corporations from the United States, Switzerland, or Great Britain.

"And I see no reason why we should be subsidizing billionaires who have their fortunes in Ukraine," Miller emphasized.

"It needs to be clearly stated that it's not possible to continue pushing solutions that are very favorable for the Ukrainian economy and only for the Ukrainian economy. If Ukraine wants to join the European Union, it must get used to not having any concessions or preferential solutions like it currently does," the former Prime Minister conveyed.

"I believe we must, of course, help Ukrainians. We need to supply them with weapons, ammunition, money, etc. But this does not mean that we have to issue a death sentence on Polish agriculture and just watch passively! This is madness! Either we are Poles and we will also be responsible for Polish farms, Polish agriculture, and Polish industry, or we don't care at all!" he concluded.

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