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Ukraine prepared to begin transporting trucks stuck at Polish border by train

by Nate Ostiller December 7, 2023 8:17 PM 2 min read
Trucks stand in line in Medyka, Poland, amid an ongoing blockade by Polish truckers on Nov. 23, 2023. (Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's state-owned railway Ukrzaliznytsia started the transportation of 23 trucks by train that have been stuck at the Polish border amid the ongoing protest and blockade by Polish truckers, Interfax-Ukraine reported on Dec. 7, citing Ukrzaliznytsia's Deputy Director of Commercial Work, Valerii Tkachov.

Polish truckers began protesting and blockading border crossings with Ukraine in early November, saying that a high number of Ukrainian drivers entering Poland are hauling goods from Poland to other countries, undercutting local businesses that cannot match lower Ukrainian prices.

Ukrainian officials and industry representatives deny the accusations.

Ukrainian trucks have been stuck at the border, facing lines that stretch for kilometers and wait times that last for days.

Slovak truckers have also joined the protest, intermittently blocking border crossings between Slovakia and Ukraine.

The proposal to transport trucks by train could be a way to circumvent the blockade, as negotiations have so far failed to achieve a lasting resolution to the issue.

Tkachov said that the initial trainload of 23 trucks was a test run to determine the feasibility of scaling train transport up.

"As soon as this test train passes and everything is fine, we will launch it en masse," said Tkachov.

He also said that Ukrainian customs officials were working with their Polish counterparts to work out any technical issues and potential issues relating to fuel remaining in the trucks' tanks.  

Ukrainian retailers face big losses, disruptions due to Polish border blockade
As the Polish trucker blockade of Ukrainian haulers heads toward the one-month mark, the toll on Ukraine’s businesses is adding up. As of Dec. 4, around 2,500 trucks are stuck at the Ukrainian border with Poland waiting to cross because of the protests, which started on Nov. 6
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