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Ukraine and Poland fail to reach agreement over border protests

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 15, 2023 2:38 AM 2 min read
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The Ukrainian and Polish governments once again failed to make progress in stopping a week-long protest of Polish truckers at Ukraine's border, Reuters reported on Nov. 14 citing a Ukrainian official.

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.

In a televised address, Ukrainian border guard spokesman Andriy Demchenko stated that "negotiations have not yet led to anything, and Polish carriers continue to block three main directions."

Demchenko announced that more than 1,300 trucks had been in line from the Polish side at the Yahodyn checkpoint, and 500 trucks at both Krakovets and Rava-Ruska, where the blocking was occurring. Congestion by about 1,100 trucks was starting at the Shehyni checkpoint because of drives changing their routes.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Serhiy Derkach announced on Facebook that another round of negotiations took place on Monday.

"The absurdity of the demands is that the Polish protesters do not appeal to their government, but want Ukraine to apply to the EU for licenses," Derkach said.

According to Reuters, Protest organizer Tomasz Borkowski blamed a lack of willingness to talk from the Ukrainian side for the lack of progress.

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 Ukrainian grain imports threaten the livelihoods of local farmers.

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