Espreso. Global

Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry is open to talks on Polish-Ukrainian border situation 

26 November, 2023 Sunday
12:59

On November 25, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Krišjānis Kariņš expressed interest in talks to resolve border issues during a phone call with Poland's EU Affairs Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk about the Polish truckers' protests

The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared the information on its website.

Kariņš urged the Polish minister to address the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

"The Latvian Foreign Minister conveyed Latvia’s readiness to be involved and provide assistance in seeking solutions to the situation," the message states.

The ministers of both countries also talked about the upcoming European Council summit, which will address matters concerning Ukraine's EU accession negotiations.

Kariņš affirmed Latvia's robust support for Ukraine, emphasizing Ukraine's European affiliation. Consequently, Latvia advocates initiating EU accession negotiations with Ukraine this year.

The conversation also touched upon the collaboration between Latvia and Poland within the EU and the EU's future development.

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, Polish carriers are not adhering to the strike terms, potentially leading to its cancellation. During this period, the Ukrainian economy incurred losses exceeding €400 million.

Meanwhile, Polish farmers commit to prolonging the blockade until January. In response, Ukraine is initiating the establishment of an EU-backed monitoring group at the border and is also arranging the evacuation of Ukrainian drivers.

Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, attributes the situation on the Poland-Ukraine border to "some political steps of our neighbors."

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