Border blockade: Polish truckers breach strike terms, causing Ukrainian economy losses exceeding €400 million
According to estimates by the Ukrainian Federation of Employers, Ukrainian economy has suffered losses due to the blocking of borders by Polish strikers, amounting to over €400 million
Vice-President of the Association of International Motor Carriers, Volodymyr Balin, conveyed this information during a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Center, as reported by Espreso.
"The situation is critical. I can't specify how other industries are faring, but according to the Federation of Employers of Ukraine, our economy has already suffered over 400 million euros. We gauge the losses for our carriers at 350 euros per day, based on internal profitability calculations," noted Balin.
According to him, Polish protesters are violating the strike conditions, potentially leading to its cancellation.
"There's a violation by the strikers. In their statements to the communes in Poland, they allowed certain goods, including humanitarian and dangerous items like fuel. Current reports show these allowances aren't being honored, and these vehicles are stuck in a general queue. We're accumulating evidence and bringing it to Polish authorities. If strike conditions are breached, we hope it gets canceled, and the police ensure passage," stressed Volodymyr Balin. He added that lawyers will prepare letters to the communes, highlighting the blocking as a genuine threat to the life and health of drivers.
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.