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UPDATE: Ukraine urges Poland to unblock border traffic

23.11.2023 23:30
Ukraine has sent a formal diplomatic note to Poland, urging swift measures to unblock the border between the two countries, the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw, Vasyl Zvarych, said on Thursday, amid protests by Polish truck drivers and farmers.
Photo:PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

The note was prompted by the tragic deaths of two Ukrainian drivers who lost their lives while waiting in the long lines to cross the border, Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform reported.

"In connection with the death, unfortunately, of the second Ukrainian driver, who was driving a Ukrainian truck and was in a queue caused by the strike of Polish carriers in front of the Korczowa checkpoint, the embassy urgently addressed another official note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, demanding to unblock the movement of trucks," Zvarych said.

"The relevant signals were also sent to the Ministry of the Interior and the Polish administration," he added, as quoted by Ukrinform. 

"We call on the Polish authorities to take decisive action to unblock the traffic and prevent Ukrainian, Polish and foreign truck drivers from standing in long queues without proper conditions, thus becoming hostages to the actions of the protest organizers," Zvarych also said.

Polish truckers, farmers block Ukraine border

Meanwhile, Polish farmers on Thursday blocked the Medyka border checkpoint with Ukraine, demanding subsidies on wheat and state-backed loans amid an influx of Ukrainian grain, Polish media reported. 

Protesters said they would block trucks from reaching the checkpoint between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day until Sunday, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

The farmers want the government to subsidise the prices of wheat, extend state-backed loans due to the influx of grain from Ukraine, and keep the farm tax rates unchanged, according to news outlets.

On November 6, Polish truck drivers launched a blockade of the Hrebenne, Dorohusk and Korczowa checkpoints, demanding that the European Union reinstate permits for Ukrainian transport companies entering the bloc.

On Thursday, Polish transport companies announced that the protest at the Dorohusk checkpoint would be extended until February 1, Ukrinform reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, Ukrinform