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Infrastructure Ministry: Polish strikers completely block 2 border crossings for cargo

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 8, 2023 10:29 AM 2 min read
A truck driver looks out the window of his truck at the Rava-Ruska border checkpoint on the Ukrainian-Polish border, April 18, 2023. (Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP via Getty Images)
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Polish truckers on strike completely blocked the ability of cargo trucks to cross into and from Poland at two border checkpoints and partially blocked another, said Serhii Derkach, a deputy minister at Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry, on Nov. 7.

The Yahodyn – Dorohusk and Rava-Ruska – Hrebenne crossings on Ukraine's border with Poland were completely blocked, according to Derkach.

The transport of humanitarian cargo, buses, and private vehicles continued, albeit at a much slower pace.

Poland has been one of Ukraine's biggest backers and a key transit partner since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Protesters are demanding renewed restrictions on the number of Ukrainian trucks permitted in Poland, claiming that the lack of such restrictions was hurting business for Polish drivers. They are also calling for a ban on transportation companies from outside the European Union.

According to Derkach, Ukrainian officials were working with their Polish colleagues to resolve the situation.

"Polish colleagues confirm that the return of permits (for Ukrainian trucks) is one of the key requirements of truckers. For us, it is unacceptable in the conditions of war, with broken logistics chains and a (Black) Sea blockade," Derkach wrote on Facebook.

The deputy minister also pointed out that the Polish truckers' demands are in violation of the agreement on the liberalization of transport signed between Ukraine and the European Union in June 2022 and set to remain in force until July 2024.

"It is impossible for Poland to cancel it (the agreement). And we will work on its continuation," Derkach said.

Earlier on Nov. 6, Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland Vasyl Zvarych called the protests "a knife in the back" of Ukraine, which continues to suffer from Russian aggression.

It was previously reported on Nov. 2 that Polish truck drivers planned to block the border crossings in protest against Ukrainian truckers.

The trucking protest echoes the economic controversy over Ukrainian agriculture products.

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