Polish Carriers Threaten to Block Another Checkpoint with Ukraine

Friday, 17 November 2023

Representatives of Polish trucking companies announced on 16 November that they will expand the border protest against Ukraine by blocking one more checkpoint for trucks, Medyka-Shehyni.

As reported by AFP, Kyiv has been unable to agree on new negotiations with Polish hauliers, who have been blocking cargo transportation at the three main border checkpoints for almost two weeks.

Tomasz Borkowski, one of the protest organisers, said they will extend the blockade to the Medyka checkpoint starting Monday. He noted that truckers expect a new round of negotiations with the Polish and Ukrainian governments, and are "not happy at the speed" of the negotiations.

The multi-day protest caused huge queues on both sides of the border.

Representatives of the ministries of infrastructure of Ukraine and Poland, as well as the transport department of the European Commission, took part in the negotiations held on 16 November at the Dorohusk border crossing point, the Ukrainian government reported.

"A key demand of the protesters is a return to the permit system. This demand cannot be fulfilled," Ukraine's transport ministry said. 

"The agreement on the liberalisation of freight transportation between Ukraine and the EU will be valid at least until June 30 of next year," the ministry added.

The ministry added that the Polish protesters did "not accept proposals" and that the "parties continue to search for solutions".

On 6 November, dozens of Polish hauliers began blocking three border crossings with Ukraine in Hrebenne, Dorohusk and Korczowa. 

They are demanding, among other things, that commercial permits be introduced for Ukrainian companies to transport goods, with the exception of humanitarian aid and supplies for the Ukrainian military, that licences for companies founded after the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine be suspended, and that inspections be conducted.

At the same time, the European Commission insists that one of the key demands of Polish hauliers blocking the border with Ukraine is not legally possible.

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