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Ministry: 2,100 trucks stuck at Ukraine border due to Polish blockade

by The Kyiv Independent news desk November 26, 2023 3:43 PM 2 min read
Trucks stand in a queue to cross the border in Medyka as Polish farmers start a strike and block truck transport in Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on Nov. 23, 2023. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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As a result of Polish haulers blocking Ukrainian border crossing points, around 2,100 vehicles are stuck, unable to get into Ukraine as of Nov. 26, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry said in an update.

The flow of traffic at Dorohusk-Yahodyn, Ukraine's largest cargo crossing, is usually 680 trucks per day. It is now down to a few dozen every 24 hours, according to the ministry.

Volunteers distributed 2,500 liters of water, 1,200 meals, and needed medicines at this crossing point, where more than 800 trucks are currently standing in line.

The Korczowa-Krakivets and Rava-Ruska - Hrebenne have 700 and 600 vehicles stuck, respectively. Four checkpoints have been blocked so far, and a fifth was being considered as of Nov. 24.

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.

An organizer of the protests, Rafal Mekler, tweeted an intention to extend the blockade until Feb. 1. Mekler is the owner of a logistics firm and a member of the far-right Confederation party in Poland, which has been vocally pro-Russian and skeptical of Ukraine.

The protesting haulers complain that the high number of Ukrainian drivers entering Poland are hauling goods from Poland to other countries, undercutting local businesses that cannot match cheaper Ukrainian prices.

Ukrainian officials and industry representatives deny the accusations. The EU has warned the Polish government to ensure the end of the blockade.

Although the protesting Polish truckers said that the blockade would only apply to non-essential goods, Ukrinform reported on Nov. 20 that trucks carrying humanitarian aid or fuel and other essential goods had been on standby at the border for days.

Negotiations have so far yet to bring an end to the situation.

Conditions have continued to worsen for the truckers as the weather gets colder. Two Ukrainian truckers have already died while waiting at the border, both reportedly of natural causes. One of them had been waiting at the border for more than three days prior to his death.

Kyiv is preparing to evacuate Ukrainian truckers who have been stuck in the border blockade orchestrated by Polish truckers, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhii Derkach said on Nov. 23.

Trucker protests: Unraveling the standoff between Polish and Ukrainian haulers
As Polish protests blocking three major Poland-Ukraine border crossings stretch into their third week, negotiations to bring an end to the blockade have all but failed. Exhausted drivers are stuck in massive lines on both sides of the border, with expected waiting times reaching over one month at t…
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