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Hungarian truckers to join Polish, Slovak protests on border with Ukraine

by Lance Luo December 10, 2023 2:25 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian trucker wanders near border with Poland in Nov. 2023 blockade. (Robert Nemeti/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Hungarian freight carriers starting on Dec. 11 will begin an official demonstration and block the Zahony-Chop checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, local media reported citing the Association of Hungarian Road Carriers.

Truckers from Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia argue they are being unfairly treated by existing EU policies because their Ukrainian counterparts do not have to purchase expensive permits.

Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian drivers had to apply for permits to enter EU countries. But Brussels suspended transport permits last year until June 2024 as part of the Solidarity Lanes Initiative to help Ukraine’s struggling export industry after Russia blocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

The protesters are demanding the EU reinstate permits for Ukrainian drivers. Recent protests by Polish farmers earlier this year forced Brussels to impose a temporary ban on the import of Ukrainian agricultural goods.

The Association of Hungarian Road Carriers says the protests are meant to "draw the attention of the European Commission and the Hungarian Government to the seriously market-distorting effects of the agreement between the European Union and Ukraine and Moldova, partially liberalizing road freight transport , which put many Hungarian businesses in a critical situation."

On Dec. 18, Ukraine and the EU are expected to meet to discuss the issue.

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