Espreso. Global

Ukrainian economy loses over billion euros due to border blockade

19 December, 2023 Tuesday
17:50

The blocking of borders by Polish truckers has affected not only the Ukrainian economy, the Polish economy has also suffered significant losses

This was announced by the Vice President of the Association of International Road Carriers Volodymyr Balin at a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Centre, Espreso reports.

"Speaking globally, Ukraine's economy has lost more than a billion euros. The Polish economy has lost even more. I think that today, with such risks, we are losing our strategic partnership because our exporters cannot conclude a deal with their customers, particularly in the European Union. And they, in turn, are looking for similar products in other countries, including Poland, due to logistical difficulties," explained Volodymyr Balin.

He also believes that Ukrainian carriers should talk to exporters and importers about the need to cross the border through Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

"In Slovakia, the authorities were categorical about strikes and unblocked the border, at most they stood there for four days. Hungary has banned strikes altogether, and if you strike, you should do it near the road and not interfere with traffic. Romania does not require the return of permits, and is actively cooperating with Ukraine on the prospects for building checkpoints, including through Moldovan territory. And we are ready to transport goods bypassing Poland, I see no other option today. Because the train is an alternative, but it is 20, 30, 40 cars a day, and this will not solve the issue," Balin 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 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-Dorogusk 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 Yagodyn-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 Decembr 18, Polish farmers from the United Village union said they would join the border blockade in Dorohusk, starting on Monday, December 18










 
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