Espreso. Global

Slovak truckers threaten to block main checkpoint on border with Ukraine

28 November, 2023 Tuesday
19:25

Slovak truckers are threatening to block the main border crossing with Ukraine on Friday unless measures are taken to limit competition from Ukrainian carriers

This is reported by Reuters.

The Slovak action will lead to the closure of the Vyšné Nemecké/Uzhhorod crossing, the only one on the border open to heavy trucks.

UNAS Chairman Stanislav Skala said that his group would wait until Thursday for the Ministry of Transport's response before making a final decision.

He said that a meeting of European transport ministers will be held in Brussels on December 4, but he does not have high hopes for a breakthrough.

"It seems that neither the Ukrainian side nor the European Commission wants to back down," he said.

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 may help to get it called off. At the same time, the Ukrainian economy has already suffered losses of more than EUR 400 million.

Meanwhile, Polish farmers promise to continue blocking the Medyka-Sheginie checkpoint until January. So Ukraine is initiating the creation of an EU monitoring group at the border, and is also planning to evacuate Ukrainian drivers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the situation on the border between Poland and Ukraine was caused by "some political steps of our neighbors.”

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