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Ukraine, Poland discuss crisis as Slovak truckers join protests

by Lance Luo December 2, 2023 5:39 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian truck drivers blocked by Polish protesters near the Polish Ukrainian border crossing Korczowa on Dec.1. 2023. (Olha Dejneka/Suspilne Ukraine/JSC "UA:PBC"/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian and Polish officials met in Warsaw on on Dec. 1 to find a solution to end a protest by Polish truckers who want the EU to reinstate entry permits.

Tensions between Poland and Ukraine have risen after Polish truckers and farmers started a blockade of some of the busiest border checkpoints with Ukraine.

Polish truckers say they are at a severe disadvantage because their Ukrainian counterparts do not need to purchase expensive permits to enter the EU. They want the licensing requirements to be reinstated.

Officials agreed to reopen the Ugriniv-Dolgobychev crossing for the passage of empty vehicles from Ukraine to increase the traffic flow at the border and reduce the load on other checkpoints, a Ukrainian official said on Facebook.

The Warsaw meeting was chaired by Serhiy Derkach, a Ukrainian government representative leading the Polish-Ukrainian development organization.

Ukrainian officials have said the situation was “catastrophic” for Kyiv as winter sets in and imports dwindle.

On Friday, Slovak truckers joined the protest at border crossings linking Slovakia and Ukraine. The Slovak drivers also want the EU to reverse a wartime decision to loosen licensing rules for Ukrainian truckers.

Polish truckers began blocking three border crossings with Ukraine on Nov. 6, leading to pileups of tens of thousands of vehicles on both sides of the border in freezing temperatures.

Two Ukrainian truckers waiting at the border have reportedly died from natural causes.

Slovak truckers announce blockade on Ukraine border starting Dec. 1
Slovakia’s Union of Slovak carriers (UNAS) on Nov. 27 announced its plans to block the Vyšné Nemecké crossing on the border with Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, the organization said on Facebook.

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