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Reuters: Polish truckers plan protest at Ukraine's border crossings

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 3, 2023 5:10 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 truck drivers plan to block multiple border crossings in Ukraine starting Nov. 6 in a protest against Ukrainian truckers, Reuters reported Nov. 2.

One of the protest's organizers told Reuters that the lack of restrictions governing Ukrainian truckers in Poland was hurting business for Polish drivers.

"Ukrainian transport companies are ... entering without restrictions and carrying out transport operations they have no right to perform," said Jacek Sokol, protest co-organizer and deputy head of the Committee to Protect Transporters and Transport Employers.

The demonstrators intend to block trucks at three crossings, granting passage to one truck per hour. Traffic will be blocked at the Dorohusk, Hrebenne-Rava Ruska, and Korczowa-Krakovets crossings.

According to a notice obtained by Reuters, the protesters will not obstruct transit of Ukrainian army equipment or vehicles carrying livestock.

The protesters are demanding 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.

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

Disputes over grain shipments led to strained Urkainian-Polish relations after Warsaw decided to extend the import ban on Ukrainian grain past the EU's Sept. 15 expiration date. Poland maintains that Ukrainain grain imports threaten the livelihoods of local farmers.

Despite the ban, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Sept. 24 that his country had opened transit corridors for shipments of grain from Ukraine.

Protest organizer Sokol claimed that before Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukrainian transport companies received 160,000-180,000 permits per year for select shipments that required entrance or passage through Poland. He said this did not include licenses for in-country shipments.

"Now these companies are doing whatever they want. There is a complete, uncontrolled influx, just like with grain," Sokol said.

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