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Slovak truckers say they have ended Ukraine border blockade

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 15, 2023 1:58 PM 1 min read
Snow-covered trucks stand in a line over 7 kilometers long near Bidovce, Slovakia on Nov. 28, 2023. (Robert Nemeti/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The blockade by Slovak truckers at the Ukrainian border has ended, the Slovak Truckers Union said on Dec. 15. Ukraine's State Border Guard Service also said that the border had been unblocked for an "indefinite period."

The Slovak truckers' union UNAS said on Dec. 5 that it would begin a total blockade of the border crossing if its demands regarding the EU's liberalization of the permit system for Ukrainian truckers are not addressed.

The Uzhhorod-Vysne Nemecke crossing was previously temporarily blocked on Nov. 21, Dec. 1, and Dec. 11 and then partially unblocked on Dec. 14.

In a post on Facebook, UNAS said that "the objectives of the protest were met" and thanked Katarina Roth Nevedalova, a member of the European Parliament, for raising the issue at a parliamentary session in Brussels on Dec. 14.

"Although we had to leave the border crossing, this does not mean that we are slowing down," UNAS said.

The border guard said that the blockade ended at 9:00 a.m. local time on Dec. 15. As of 12:30, 60 trucks had been registered and cleared for departure from Ukraine, and more than 1,000 were in the electronic queue.

The launch of a blockade by Polish truckers in early November preceded the initial blockade at the Slovak border.

The Polish truckers claimed that the blockade was in protest of the high number of Ukrainian drivers entering Poland, hauling goods further to other countries, and undercutting local businesses that cannot match lower Ukrainian prices.

Blockades on some of the border crossings in Poland continue, but Polish media reported on Dec. 12 that the Dorohusk-Yahodyn crossing had reopened for traffic.

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