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Border blockade: Poland presents Ukraine with carriers’ demands

Among demands are restrictions on Ukrainian trucks entering Poland and probes of Ukrainian firms started after Russia’s invasion.
polish trucker protest blockade
Long queues at the border between Ukraine and Poland due to the protest of Polish carriers, November 2023. Credit: Suspilne

Poland’s Ministry of Infrastructure announced on 27 November that it has approached Ukraine with a proposal aimed at resolving the ongoing border blockade staged by Polish carriers, which has now entered its third week.

Minister Andrzej Adamczyk proposed that Ukraine allow EU-registered trucks leaving Ukraine via the Zosin-Ustyluh and Nyzhnkovychi-Malhowice border points to bypass the eCherha (online queue) system. Adamczyk noted that this system has led to longer wait times for EU trucks returning empty from Ukraine, contributing to border delays. He also mentioned that the protesters claim this system results in unfair treatment between Ukrainian and Polish truckers.

Furthermore, Adamczyk has called on EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean to set up a committee to review the impact of the EU-Ukraine transit liberalization deal on the European trucking industry, a deal which the protesters demand be annulled.

This appeal comes amidst a three-week blockade by Polish truckers at the borders, which has caused significant traffic backups. The protests escalated last week when they extended to the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint.

Over 2,000 trucks are currently lined up on the Polish side waiting to enter Ukraine.

The truckers’ demands include the implementation of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies transporting goods, with the exception of those carrying humanitarian aid and military supplies; and the suspension and subsequent verification of licenses for companies that were established following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Simultaneously, Polish farmers have begun their own blockade at the Medyka checkpoint in the Subcarpathia region starting Wednesday, planning to continue 24/7 until 3 January, according to the organizers.

On 26 November, Latvia offered to facilitate talks to resolve the ongoing crisis at the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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