Baltic States Send Démarche to Poland over Ukrainian Border Blockade

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

The ambassadors of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in Warsaw have delivered a démarche against the Polish authorities over the hauliers’ blockade of Ukrainian border crossings, saying it is undermining Ukraine’s ability to resist the full-scale Russian invasion.

"We respect the truck drivers’ right to protest. But, unfortunately, this has led to a difficult situation that is creating problems for other hauliers and additional difficulties for the Ukrainian economy," Brita Kikas, Spokeswoman for Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said in a comment to ERR.

In diplomacy, a démarche is an appeal from one government to another to draw attention to a particular problem.

Kikas said she hoped that Poland, Ukraine and the European Commission would jointly find a solution to the problem "in the near future" and that Estonia would continue to seek a solution with the new Polish government.

"Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna has had a conversation with former Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. In addition, the new Polish foreign minister is scheduled to visit Tallinn in the near future, and this issue will definitely be discussed," Kikas said.

The Polish hauliers’ blockade has been going on since 6 November, their key demand being to bring back the permit system for Ukrainian hauliers.   

The European Commission has stated that it is opposed to the reinstatement of the permit system for Ukrainian hauliers as the Polish and Slovak protesters are demanding.

Ukraine expects the Polish authorities to resume talks with the hauliers to end the border blockade after empty lorries began to pass through the Uhryniv-Dołhobyczów checkpoint.

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