Espreso. Global

Polish hauliers block Ukrainian trucks at three border crossings

14 January, 2024 Sunday
18:10

As of January 14, Ukrainian trucks remain blocked at the border with Poland at 3 of the 4 checkpoints - Yahodyn, Rava-Ruska, and Krakivets. About 1,100 trucks are waiting at the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint, which was recently unblocked by Polish protesters.

Andriy Demchenko, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service, said this on the air of the telethon.

"The most difficult situation is on the border with Poland. Three directions continue to be blocked there - Yagodyn, Rava-Ruska, and Krakivets. As of this morning, a total of 1,100 trucks are waiting in queues at these three destinations in Poland. The biggest queue is in front of the Rava-Ruska checkpoint," he said.

According to him, the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing, recently unblocked by Polish carriers, is experiencing heavy traffic, with border crossing rates similar to those before the blockade. At the same time, there is a queue of about 1,100 trucks heading towards Ukraine.

Demchenko also noted that queues at the border with Slovakia and Hungary have been increasing in recent days: there is a queue of 450 trucks at the Uzhhorod checkpoint on the border with Slovakia heading towards Ukraine, and 650 trucks in Hungary heading towards Ukraine.

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 1, the blocked Ukrainian drivers at the Polish border held talks with the consul. On December 4, the Uhryniv-Dolhobyczów border crossing point opened to empty trucks.

On December 4, the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) will discuss the situation with the blockade on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

As a result of the protesters' blocking of the border with Ukraine, exports through these checkpoints decreased by 40%, and the state budget of Ukraine lost UAH 9.3 billion due to a shortfall in customs payments. 

Later it became known that the trucks blocked on the border with Poland would be returned to Ukraine by rail. On the evening of December 7, Ukrainian Railways sent the first container train with trucks to Poland, consisting of 23 platforms with 13 loaded tractors and semi-trailers.

On December 11, truck traffic was unblocked at the Polish-Ukrainian border through the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint. 

The European Commission called for the unblocking of all checkpoints on the border with Poland.

On December 14, the mayor of the Polish commune of Dorohusk, Wojciech Sawa, did not allow carriers to block the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint on the border with Ukraine.

However, on December 15, the District Court in Lublin overturned the ban of Wojciech Sawa, head of the Dorohusk Commune

On December 18, Polish farmers from the United Village Union said they would join the border blockade in Dorohusk, starting on Monday, December 18

Blockade of truck traffic by Romanian farmers

On 13 January, a traffic blockade in Romania lasted for 6 hours. Romanian farmers and agrarians blocked truck traffic through the Porubne-Siret international road checkpoint on the border with Ukraine.

On 14 January, Romanian farmers and agrarians again blocked truck traffic at the Porubne-Siret international road border crossing with Ukraine, following a blockade on 13 January.

Protest of Slovak carriers

Earlier, the Union of Road Hauliers of Slovakia (UNAS) said it was ready to completely block the Vysne Nemecke-Uzhhorod border crossing if the situation with the cancellation of the permit system for Ukrainian truckers is not resolved.

On 11 December, Slovak carriers began blocking the movement of trucks leaving Ukraine. In this regard, customs officers in the Zakarpattia region directed trucks to other checkpoints.

The day before, it was reported that the passage of trucks from Ukraine to Slovakia had partially resumed.

As a reminder, on 15 December, Slovak carriers indefinitely blocked truck traffic in front of the Vysne Nemecke checkpoint.

Traffic on the Slovak border is now unblocked. However, the State Border Guard Service does not rule out that the carriers may start a protest action again in some time





 

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