Espreso. Global

Border blockade: Polish government demands EU termination of agreement with Ukraine

30 November, 2023 Thursday

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the government will demand to restore the permit system for Ukrainian carriers, which was canceled under the agreement between the European Union and Ukraine of July 1, 2022

Polish Radio reports the information.

"It is very important that the Minister of Infrastructure receives appropriate instructions for the EU Transport Council meeting (to be held on December 4, 2023 in Brussels) to return to the previous permit system. The permit system was working properly. We will propose the restoration of this permit system," he said.

According to the head of the Polish government, their delegation in Kyiv agreed on certain changes that may speed up the passage of empty trucks across the border, which will reduce queues.

There will be no strike expansion

Polish Infrastructure Minister Alvin Gajadhur met with Polish truckers blocking four border crossings with Ukraine on Wednesday and announced steps to partially lift the blockade, the Polish Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement.

After the negotiations with the minister, Waldemar Jaszczur, chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Transport Carriers and Employers, said that the carriers would not stop the protest at four border crossing points, but would not extend it to two more - in Nyzhankovychi and Zosin.

"We are also ready to consider softening the form of our protest if the Polish state strengthens effective control over the entry of trucks into Poland," Jaszczur added, complaining about a "significant" number of violations by Ukraine.

Control on the border with Ukraine will be strengthened

In his turn, Gajadhur announced that the Polish government would intensify vehicle inspections at border crossings with Ukraine.

"Employees of the National Tax Administration, border guards and police will also take part in these inspections. These will be reinforced measures. I have already spoken with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration - they have declared their full cooperation on this issue," he was quoted as saying by Polish Radio.

Strikes on the Polish-Ukrainian border: 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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