Espreso. Global

Blockade of Ukraine's border with Slovakia will affect trade turnover - expert Hohulia

30 November, 2023 Thursday
16:58

Blocking of the Vyšné Nemecké-Uzhhorod checkpoint on the Slovak-Ukrainian border by carriers will affect trade turnover

This was stated by the chairman of the regional council of Kyiv Association of International Road Carriers Oleksandr Hohulia on Suspilne. 

"The number of vehicles in Poland is 340,000 trucks, and in Ukraine, there are 60,000 vehicles engaged in international transportation. Lithuania, which also signed an appeal to return the permit system to Ukraine, has about 80 thousand trucks. If we look at these figures, it becomes clear that Ukrainian carriers cannot influence or interrupt the work of foreign companies," the head of the regional council emphasized.

He also noted that the blocking of the Uzhhorod-Vyšné Nemecké checkpoint would affect trade turnover, as most cargo is currently being routed through Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

"I really hope that the European Commission will take the Ukrainian side. Because the main way to deliver exports and imports is by road transport. It is currently the main artery during the war," Hohulia added.

The day before, the Slovak Truckers Association announced that on December 1 it would block the Vysne Nemecke-Uzhhorod checkpoint on the border with Ukraine. The carriers called the purpose of the protest "the need for immediate solutions and solidarity with Polish carriers."

Strikes on the border with Ukraine: what is known

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.

Ukraine and Poland prepare claims for damages caused by the blocking of border crossing points due to the carriers' protest. 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 may help to get it called off. At the same time, the Ukrainian economy has already suffered losses of more than €400 million.

The agrarian expert explained what products may disappear from Ukrainian store shelves due to the border blockade.

Meanwhile, the Polish government called on Ukraine to cancel the registration in the electronic queue for empty trucks. The Polish minister also met with the protesters and offered them a compromise solution.

On December 4, the EU Transport Council will discuss the situation with the blockade on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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