Today: Monday, 26 February 2024 year

Protesting farmers took to the central streets of Chisinau.

Protesting farmers took to the central streets of Chisinau.

Protesting farmers drove out on tractors to the central streets of Chisinau.

The day before, a group of farmers held negotiations with the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, but the parties did not come to an understanding of the decisions. Protesters are demanding that the country’s leadership introduce a moratorium on penalties for debt against grain producers, as well as increase financial assistance to the sector affected by last year’s drought and falling grain prices. Sandu recommended that farmers return to dialogue with the government.

“We have not heard specific arguments from the president either in our support or on the situation in agriculture in general. We understand that the authorities do not have an alternative proposal to urgently save micro, small and medium-sized farmers from bankruptcy, so the decision was made to continue the protest with bringing equipment to the streets of Chisinau,” one of the leaders of the “Power of Farmers” association, Alexandru Slusari, told reporters.

A column of 100 tractors moves through the center of Chisinau, passing the buildings of parliament and the presidential administration.

Earlier, President Sandu said that Chisinau will provide assistance to Ukraine with the export of grain as part of the “corridor of solidarity” initiative. In September, Moldova and Ukraine also agreed to extend the liberalization of cargo transportation until the end of 2025; the decision was approved following a meeting of the joint Moldovan-Ukrainian commission on international road transport.

On September 15, the European Commission decided not to extend restrictions on the import of four types of Ukrainian agricultural products into several EU border countries, but obliged Kyiv to introduce export control measures. After this, the authorities of Slovakia, Hungary and Poland announced that they were extending the ban unilaterally.

In June, Moldovan farmers held protests to draw the attention of the authorities to their problems. They advocated a reduction in VAT on grains, demanded restrictions on grain imports from Ukraine, and wanted access to European funds for the agricultural sector and an increase in the national agricultural development fund.