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Polish truck drivers continue to protest against EU special privileges for Ukraine

Polish truck drivers are still blocking the border crossings in protest of the EU’s special and facilitating rules for Ukrainian drivers.
– International News

According to the report of the international group Tasnim news agency, quoted by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” newspaper, in On the border between Poland and Ukraine, representatives of both governments have begun negotiations to end the blockade of border crossings by Polish long-distance drivers. The transportation ministries of both countries announced the news on Monday.

The meeting was overshadowed by the death of a long-distance truck driver over the weekend. This Ukrainian car driver was standing in the queue of cars in Chelem, about 20 kilometers from the crossing. Sarheij Derkach, the Minister of Infrastructure Affairs of Kyiv, however, wrote that he probably died of natural causes. According to him, on Friday only 27 cars were able to cross the Polish border in the border town of Dorohusk due to the blocking protest, while hundreds of cars still have to wait.

Polish drivers since a week ago They started blocking the crossings near the border towns of Dorohusk, Korczowa and Hrebenne. They demand that commercial transport by Ukrainian drivers be re-licensed. The permit system for Ukrainian drivers was suspended by the European Union in 2022 after a major Russian invasion.

The previous rule was that Poles and Ukrainians were each allowed 160,000 trips across the border. . In the first half of 2023 alone, 642,000 trips were made, more than 90 percent of which were apparently made by Ukrainians. One of the protestors said: Polish farmers are afraid of cheap grain, we are afraid of Ukrainian transport, their trucks are taking us like a flood. and the suspension of air traffic, currently the ground communication as the export corridor of Ukraine is overloaded.

Derkatesh, the Ukrainian minister, said that the volume of trucks at the border is currently about twice as much as It is before the war and reaches 50,000 cars per month. He called the Polish blockade, declared by organizers as “long-term”, “absolutely illegal” and said it would also block “solidarity corridors” announced by the European Union for grain exports. Polish long-distance drivers currently have the highest percentage of truck transport in the European Union and want concessions to maintain their market share.

As a result of the protest campaign of Polish trucking companies. which has been going on for several days, thousands of vehicles are stuck on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Since Monday, dozens of Polish freight companies have announced their protest against what they consider “unfair competition” from Ukrainian companies. and have blocked important border crossings. Organizers of these protests blame the European Union’s easing regulations for Ukrainian companies. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union suspended a number of cross-border transport requirements. According to Polish companies, this led to a wave of Ukrainian competitors entering the market.

Poland and Ukraine are traditionally close allies. Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Warsaw has been one of Kiev’s biggest supporters and arms suppliers. But recently, disputes over Ukraine’s grain exports have worsened relations between the two countries.

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