Diplomat urges creating regional alliance with Poland, Baltic States to avoid border blockades
Consul General of Ukraine in Lublin for 2015-2022, diplomat Vasyl Pavliuk, believes that such a step will help prevent the blocking of Ukrainian border and pressure from Russia
He shared this opinion on Espreso TV.
According to Pavliuk, the Ukrainian government should plan actions in advance to prevent such a border blockade from happening again.
"We need to look ahead a little bit. I would recommend that our government should actively create a regional union with Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Because they are favourably disposed towards us and know what Russia and the Russian occupation are," said the Consul General of Ukraine in Lublin 2015-2022.
In addition, the diplomat stressed that work on establishing close ties with these countries should begin now.
"Economic issues are very serious. If we are blocked economically now, it will lead to catastrophy. We will be left face-to-face with Moscow - and how will we get out of this? It is very difficult," Pavliuk stressed.
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 5, the European Commission supported the continuation of the Agreement on the Liberalization of Freight Transport between Ukraine and the European Union, which allows Ukrainian drivers to avoid obtaining permits for international transportation.
In Warsaw, the ambassadors of the Baltic States expressed to the Polish authorities their dissatisfaction with the fact that Polish drivers block the movement of trucks on the Polish-Ukrainian border, thereby undermining Ukraine's ability to continue the war with Russia.