Polish carriers began a two-month blockade of the Ukrainian border
From November 6, Polish carriers began to block checkpoints on the border with Ukraine, demanding the cancellation of transport visa-free for Ukraine. Until December 3, they promise to allow only one truck per hour in both directions, which has already practically stopped traffic across the border at the largest crossings: Yagodyn - Dorogusk, Krakow - Korchova, Rava-Ruska - Grebenne.
The strikers are demanding the return of the permit system for Ukrainian carriers and limiting their number to the level that existed at the time of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"If in 2021 Poland granted 160,000 permits to Ukrainian carriers, then from January to August 2023 they carried out 880,000 transports across the Polish border. That is, the volume of transportation increased 7.5 times and may reach 1.2 million by the end of the year. In order to protect our own market, we demand the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies, with the exception of aid tires and items for the Ukrainian army," says strike organizer Tomash Borkovsky.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland, Vasyl Zvarych, called the blocking of border crossings by Polish carriers "a painful blow to the back of Ukraine, which is suffering from the aggression of the Russian Federation, as it threatens the work of the "corridors of solidarity" between Ukraine and the EU, which pass through the territory of Poland."
He believes that such a move works in favor of Russian terrorists and harms the interests of not only Ukraine, but also Poland and the EU, so he called on the strikers to end the blockade and defend their interests by other methods that would not impede movement across the border.
We would like to recall the demands of Polish carriers, submitted to the government of Ukraine through the embassy:
- return the system of permits for crossing the border with Poland for Ukrainian carriers, canceled in June 2022 with the beginning of the "transport visa-free";
- strengthen the requirements of the rules of transportation and ECMT for Ukrainian carriers and prohibit them from registering companies in Poland;
- at all borders, create separate queues for empty vans and cars with EU license plates, as well as gain access to the Ukrainian "Shlyah" system.
Such demands would be appropriate and easily solved in peacetime, but during the war and the blockade of the Black Sea ports, when the main export goes by road through the western borders, they look like flirting with the Russian Federation. At the same time, Polish carriers refuse to work in Ukraine because of the risks, although they could increase revenues and create competition for Ukrainian carriers, which do receive excess profits against the background of increased cargo traffic.