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Polish FM urges EU steps to help resolve border transport dispute with Ukraine

04.12.2023 13:15
Ukraine's decision to allow empty trucks to cross the border with Poland is "a gesture in the right direction," but it falls short of resolving broader issues at the border, Polish Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk said on Monday.
Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk.
Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk.Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Speaking to private broadcaster Radio ZET, Szynkowski vel Sęk emphasized the need for further action from both the European Union and Ukraine to address the ongoing transport challenges.

Ukraine's State Border Guard Service confirmed on Monday that empty trucks headed for Poland would now be processed through the new Uhryniv-Dolhobychiv border crossing.

While seen as a step towards easing tensions, the measure is viewed as insufficient in fully unlocking the potential of all border points, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Szynkowski vel Sęk highlighted the "mistrust" Polish carriers have towards Ukraine's electronic queue system, quoting concerns over transparency and competitiveness. He called for EU steps to ensure fair practices and adherence to the law, particularly concerning cabotage issues and the e-rail system.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Rafał Weber, speaking on Monday in Brussels before an EU Transport Council meeting, pointed out the "unfair competitive edge" the current system gives to Ukrainian transporters, according to officials.

He argued that the EU-Ukraine agreement on road transport of goods has significantly impacted the EU freight market, with Polish, Slovak, and Hungarian carriers feeling the brunt.

The situation has sparked protests from Polish carriers at various border crossings with Ukraine. Demands include a separate queue for empty trucks returning to Poland, the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies, and the suspension of licenses for firms established after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Protesters are also calling for the abolition of Ukraine's electronic queue system.

Meanwhile, farmers have launched their own protest at Medyka, planning to continue their blockade of the border crossing until January 3.


Source: PAP