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Polish border protest organizer plans to extend blockade until February

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 23, 2023 1:45 AM 2 min read
Banners with the demands of the protesting truckers are seen hung on trucks during the blockade of the border crossing to Ukraine near Dorohusk. Nov. 6, 2023. (Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Rafal Mekler, the organizer of the Polish trucker protest on the Polish border with Ukraine, announced on Twitter his intention to extend the blockade until Feb. 1.

Organizers of the protest reportedly submitted an application for the extension of the blockade at the "Yagodin-Dorohusk" checkpoint.

Polish truckers started blocking three border crossing points on Nov. 6, in protest of the liberalization of EU transport rules for Ukrainian trucks, causing huge lines on both sides of the border.

Drivers stuck in line are facing tough conditions as temperatures plummet and snow falls in eastern Poland. Kyiv has created a support group to provide Ukrainian drivers with food, drinking water, medicine, and fuel.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhiy Derkach wrote on Facebook on Nov. 19 that 1,200 trucks were blocked at the Korczowa crossing, and 500 trucks were blocked at the Hrebenne crossing.

"There were a total of no more than 15 protesters at these two checkpoints," Derkach said, highlighting that "a dozen people are holding the border hostage."

The protesters demand renewed restrictions on the number of Ukrainian trucks permitted in Poland. They are also calling for a ban on transportation companies from outside the European Union.

According to EU rules, Ukrainian trucks do not require permits until June 30, 2024, after the EU and Ukraine signed an agreement in June 2022 to liberalize transport rules.

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