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Polish truckers in talks with Ukraine over trucker border crossing dispute

Trucks near the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland on November 10, 2023 as Ukrainian drivers protest and ask Polish police officers to let them pass.
Trucks near the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland on November 10, 2023 as Ukrainian drivers protest and ask Polish police officers to let them pass. Copyright Elaine Thompson/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Elaine Thompson/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Polish truckers are in talks with Ukrainian officials over unregulated border crossings that they say have affected their business since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Polish road transport authorities held talks on Wednesday with their Ukrainian counterparts over competition grievances that have led Polish truckers to block two border crossings, resulting in days of delays.

Polish truckers say that unregulated activity by rapidly growing Ukrainian transport companies is ruining their business. After Russia’s invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has an increased need for imports and exports while air and sea routes remain blocked by Russia.

Polish police officers are seen next to a queue of trucks as transport company owners block access to the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland on November 6.
Polish police officers are seen next to a queue of trucks as transport company owners block access to the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing in Dorohusk, Poland on November 6.Elaine Thompson/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved

"We haven't reached an agreement. The Ukrainians are not taking our demands into account", declared Rafal Makler, one of the leaders of the Polish protest movement, on X formerly Twitter, at the end of discussions with representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian governments.

Polish truckers want official permissions to be required of Ukrainian transport firms. Poland’s Infrastructure Ministry says such regulations would come under the European Union because Poland’s border with Ukraine is an EU border.

It is vital for us that the "visa-free transport regime" continues and is extended, at least until we win," Ukrainian Deputy Infrastructure Minister Sergei Derkatch commented on Facebook on Monday evening.

"We are not backing down and we insist that blocking the border is a violation of numerous agreements. The border must be unblocked immediately", he added.

The Poles also want speedier procedures on the Ukraine side and the opening of another crossing only for empty trucks to decongest the traffic.

Talks were being held between transport representatives in Poland’s eastern city of Chelm.

Polish truckers are limiting the passage of trucks at the crossings in Dorohusk and Hrebenne, where the wait time now lasts almost two weeks. Most of the trucks that are stuck carry Ukrainian plates.

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