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Border Guard: Romanian protesters unblock one crossing at Ukraine border

by Vladyslav Kudryk January 19, 2024 4:28 PM 2 min read
Illustrative photo: a line of trucks en route to Romania queue at the Porubne-Siret border crossing in Porubne, Ukraine, on Dec. 17, 2022. (Andrei Pungovschi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Romanian protesters unblocked the Vicovu de Sus crossing on the Romanian-Ukrainian border, which had been blocked since Jan. 15,  Ukraine's State Border Guard Service reported on Jan. 19.

Romanian farmers and truck drivers reportedly joined forces in mid-January, slowing traffic on major roads in protest of issues such as high tax rates, long waiting times at border crossings, and slow subsidy payments.

The farmers claimed they had lost income for almost two years due to cheaper grains being exported by Ukraine. Romania's Customs Authority reported in December that the country had not imported grain from Ukraine in the past six months.

Two border crossing points had been blocked since Jan. 15, and another one was blocked on Jan. 18. The Vicovu de Sus crossing, unblocked on Jan. 19, lies in Suceava County, which borders Ukraine's Chernivtsi Oblast.

The State Border Guard Service said that all vehicles were allowed to cross as usual, but only empty trucks could cross the state border of Ukraine with Romania at Ukraine's Krasnoilsk checkpoint.

The Romanian Agriculture Ministry has agreed to meet several of the demands of the Romanian farmers, but one of the farmers' representatives at the negotiations explained that the agreement does not mean an immediate end to the protests, Euractiv reported on Jan. 16.

Romania plays a crucial role in helping Ukraine export its agricultural products amid Russia's threats to Black Sea maritime transport, with almost 60% of Ukrainian grain exports transiting through the country.

Similar farmer and trucker protests took place at the Polish, Slovakian, and Hungarian borders with Ukraine throughout the winter.

Border Guard: Polish truckers unblock last crossing at Ukraine border
Earlier the same day, Polish truckers ended their blockade of two other checkpoints — Korczowa-Krakovets and Hrebenne-Rava Ruska, meaning the border is now fully unblocked. This followed an agreement between Warsaw and the Polish truckers, who said they would end their border blockade until March 1.

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