Baltic ambassadors express demarche to Poland over blockade of Ukrainian border
In Warsaw, the ambassadors of the Baltic states expressed their dissatisfaction with Polish drivers blocking the movement of trucks on the Polish-Ukrainian border, thereby undermining Ukraine's ability to continue the war with Russia, ERR reports.
This was reported by ERR.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that this issue has been repeatedly raised in relations with Poland.
"A meeting/demarche of three ambassadors of the Baltic states at the Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland took place in Warsaw," said Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Brita Kikas.
"We respect the right of truck drivers to demonstrate. But unfortunately, this has led to a difficult situation that creates problems for other carriers and additional difficulties for the Ukrainian economy. For our part, we are raising this issue with Poland and hope that a solution will be found in the near future in cooperation between Poland, Ukraine and the European Commission."
According to her, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna had a conversation with the former Polish Foreign Minister. In addition, the new Polish Foreign Minister is scheduled to visit Tallinn soon to discuss this issue.
A spokeswoman for the Estonian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the blockade of the Ukrainian border was also discussed at Tsahkna's meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Monday.
Strikes on the border between Poland and Ukraine
Strikes have erupted on the Poland-Ukraine border due to increased competition following the opening of international transportation between Ukraine and EU nations. To address this, the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development initiated talks with Poland and the European Commission.
Responding to the potential border blockage, the State Border Guard Service provided comments, and Ukraine formally communicated its concerns to Poland regarding the planned strike by Polish carriers at the Ukrainian-Polish border.
On November 6, Polish carriers initiated a strike at the border. The Ministry of Infrastructure noted that no official demands had been submitted by the Polish carriers to Kyiv.
By the evening of November 7, Polish carriers had fully halted the movement of cargo vehicles at two border checkpoints with Ukraine.
Subsequently, it was revealed that trucks are facing up to a 90-hour wait to enter Ukraine.
On November 9, a meeting of government officials and carriers blocking the border with Ukraine took place in Poland, but it concluded without any resolution. Simultaneously, the lines of trucks are growing longer. Consequently, Ukraine has suggested to the Polish authorities the initiation of lanes for empty trucks and is currently awaiting their response.
On November 15, trilateral talks with Poland and the European Commission on unblocking the crossing points took place, but they did not yield any results. Instead, the European Commission may initiate measures against Poland if the authorities do not resolve the issue of carriers blocking checkpoints on the border with Ukraine.
Polish carriers have promised to tighten the blockade on the border with Ukraine. In addition, customs officers have begun to record an increase in truck queues in the Slovak direction.
Ukraine and Poland are preparing claims for damages caused by the blockade of border crossing points due to the rally of Polish carriers. In addition, it has been reported that Polish carriers are not allowing humanitarian aid and dangerous goods to pass through.
According to Volodymyr Balin, vice president of the Association of International Road Carriers, Polish carriers are violating the terms of the strike, which could help to get it called off. At the same time, the Ukrainian economy has already suffered losses of more than €400 million.
Meanwhile, the Polish government has called on Ukraine to cancel the e-queue registration for empty trucks. Poland’s Minister of Agriculture also met with the protesters and offered them a compromise solution.
On December 4, the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) will discuss the situation with the blockade on the Polish-Ukrainian border.