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Media: Polish border guards allegedly refuse entry of humanitarian goods into Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 20, 2023 4:18 PM 1 min read
Trucks near the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing waiting to pass into Ukraine in Dorohusk, Poland on Nov. 10, 2023. (Damien Simonart/ AFP via Getty Images)
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Polish border guards allegedly refused to let trucks carrying humanitarian goods, including fuel, cross into Ukraine, as protests by Polish truckers over the free movement of Ukrainian haulers stretches into its third week, Ukrinform reported on Nov. 20.

Taras Svitlyk, a representative of a Lviv-based transport company, said that many of his company's trucks carrying fuel and other goods were stuck at parking lots by the border, and Polish border guards were not allowing them to cross. It could be a dangerous situation if they were to catch fire and explode, he added.

Although Polish authorities said that humanitarian aid or essential goods were able to pass, Ukrainian truckers said that trucks carrying humanitarian aid, including medical equipment, were on standby for days waiting to cross.

Disgruntled Polish truckers have been protesting at three checkpoints since Nov. 6, causing huge lines on both sides of the border. The protestors are demanding limitations on the number of Ukrainian haulers entering Poland.

The number of Ukrainian haulers entering Poland has increased drastically, and protestors argue that local businesses are being undercut. They claim Ukrainian drivers are transporting goods from Poland to third countries at a cheaper rate than what local companies can afford.

Movement for cargo trucks was blocked at the Yavhodyn– Dorohusk, Rava-Ruska– Hrebenne crossings, and Krakivets-Korczowa border crossings, but cars, buses, and humanitarian aid were allowed to pass. It is unclear if humanitarian aid is currently being blocked in a systematic manner.

Andrii Demchenko, a spokesperson of Ukraine's State Border Guard Service, said on Nov. 18 that 2,800 trucks were blocked at the Polish border, waiting to cross into Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials met with Polish truck drivers on Nov. 13, but the talks failed to progress.

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