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Latvia offers to help resolve Poland-Ukraine border crisis as 2,000 trucks lined up on Polish border

Tensions rise as the blockade, ongoing since November 6th, impacts freight transport, leading to delays and appeals for assistance from Ukraine.
Polish truckers
A queue of Ukrainian trucks at the Rava-Ruska-Hrebenne border crossing point with Poland following a strike a Polish truckers. November 2023. Screenshot from report by Suspilne

Latvia has offered to facilitate talks to resolve the ongoing crisis at the Polish-Ukrainian border, where Polish truckers have blocked several key cargo crossings in protest.

Over 2,000 trucks are currently lined up on the Polish side waiting to enter Ukraine. Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs urged his Polish counterpart, Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, on November 25th to find a solution.

“The Foreign Minister communicated Latvia’s readiness to get involved and facilitate the search for a solution,” said the Latvian Foreign Ministry.

The Polish truck drivers started blocking three border crossings on November 6th and expanded their blockade to a fourth crossing on November 24th. The blockade could continue until January 3rd and has led to major delays for freight transport between the two countries.

At the Dorohusk-Yahodyn crossing, only a few dozen trucks a day are getting through compared to the normal traffic of 680 cargo vehicles per day before the blockade. Over 800 trucks are waiting on the Polish side to enter Ukraine at this crossing point.

Around 700 and 600 vehicles are also lined up on the Polish side at the Korczowa-Krakovets and Rava-Ruska-Hrebenne crossings, respectively.

To assist drivers, Ukraine has set up a task force with transport associations to provide aid. It has also requested EU monitoring missions be sent. Ukraine’s parliament appealed to Polish lawmakers on November 22nd to help resolve the crisis at the border.

The border blockade has added to tensions between the two countries as they grapple with the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Latvia is offering to step in a mediator to defuse the situation which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said will take some time to resolve.

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