Espreso. Global

Polish-Ukrainian border blockade: trucks stand in lines for four days

11 January, 2024 Thursday
18:00

Due to the Polish protests, the waiting time for trucks to cross the border with Ukraine averages two to four days

Polish police spokespersons reported this to Ukrinform, according to Espreso.

For example, according to a police spokeswoman in the town of Chełm, the queue on the road to the Dorohusk-Yahodyn checkpoint reaches the village of Ludwinów and is 4 km long. There are 60 trucks in it, and the waiting time to cross the border is 40 hours. The policewoman noted that in the morning, the protesters let three trucks through faster - three trucks per hour. She expressed the opinion that the relatively short queue at this checkpoint is due to the fact that drivers are likely to choose other checkpoints where the queue is faster due to the blockade. She added that due to the low temperatures in recent days, warm drinks and food have been provided to drivers.

At the same time, a police spokeswoman in Tomaszów Lubelski, said that the queue to the Hrebenne-Rava Ruska checkpoint, including buffer zones, is currently 12 km long and ends between Lubicza Korolska and Bełżec. There are 400 trucks in the queue, and the waiting time to cross the border reaches 90 hours.

Also, a spokeswoman for the police in Jarosław, emphasized that approximately 300 trucks are currently waiting in line at the Korczowa-Krakivets checkpoint.

In addition, according to a police spokeswoman in Przemyśl, there are about 1,000 trucks in line at the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint, and the waiting time is 90 hours. According to her, the queue reaches the Ropczycei district, which is about 140 kilometers from the border.

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 has 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.

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

On December 23, Polish farmers suspended their protests at the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint. The new Polish government said it would hold talks with the protesters.

On January 4, they resumed the blockade of the border crossing and said they planned to protest until February 3.

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