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Border Service: Romanian formers partially unblock Ukraine border

Romanian farmers have lifted their blockade at one of the Ukrainian border checkpoints but continue to obstruct the passage of trucks at another.
Romania border trucks Ukraine
A queue of trucks at the Porubne checkpoint at the Romanian border. Photo: Suspilne Chernivtsi

On 19 January, Romanian farmers stopped blocking truck traffic in front of Romania’s Vicovu de Sus checkpoint, opposite the Ukrainian checkpoint Krasnoilsk in Chernivtsi Oblast, according to a report by Ukraine’s State Border Service.

Farmers and truckers in Eastern European nations hold their border-blocking protests, attempting to address local issues by disrupting imports to and exports from Ukraine, a nation currently facing the challenges of the all-out war and Russia’s genocide. Such border blockades align with one of Russia’s objectives: to undermine the Ukrainian economy and weaken the nation’s capacity to resist the ongoing Russian invasion.

Romanian farmers staged a blockade at a Ukrainian checkpoint on 14 January, joining the “trend” of protests seen in Poland, Slovakia, and, occasionally, in Hungary. Like their fellow protesters in the nearby countries, they aimed to disrupt the movement of trucks and presented their own set of demands to local authorities.

According to the Border Service, all vehicles are currently allowed to pass through the Vicovu de Sus checkpoint as usual. Only empty trucks can pass through the checkpoint Krasnoilsk. Meanwhile, farmers continue to block the Siret crossing point, which is opposite the Ukrainian checkpoint of Porubne, according to the remarks by Chernivtsi Border Guard Detachment press officer Kostiantyn Lisnyk he gave to public broadcaster Suspilne.

As of 5:30 a.m. on 19 January, 1,670 trucks had registered to cross the border through Porubne in the eCherha system, an online queue booking system for international freight carriers. Romanian farmers allowed only 246 trucks to enter Ukraine per day, Suspilne says.

Previously, the role of Romania as a transit country increased after Polish truckers started a blockade of Ukrainian trucks on border crossing points in late November, at times joined by Polish farmers and Slovakian truckers.

On 16 January 2024, Polish truck drivers ended the blockade of the last checkpoint on the Polish-Ukrainian border until 1 March 2024, after blocking the passage of goods for months over fears of allegedly losing their market share to Ukrainian competitors.

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