English Section

Lviv mayor urges Poland to unblock border with Ukraine amid trucker protest

27.11.2023 08:00
The mayor of Ukraine's western city of Lviv has called on Poland to put an end to the blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border by protesting transport companies and farmers, saying they were blocking deliveries of humanitarian supplies to his war-torn country.  
Trucks line up at Polands Dorohusk checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, November 25, 2023.
Trucks line up at Poland's Dorohusk checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, November 25, 2023.PAP/Wojtek Jargiło

Andriy Sadovyi made the appeal on the X social-media platform at the weekend, Polish private broadcaster Polsat News reported.

The Lviv mayor called on Poland to put an end to the blockade, which he described as "disgraceful," adding that its cost was "too high."

Sadovyi said on Saturday in Polish that the border protest was blocking deliveries of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine as the country "is defending its independence and the security of Europe."

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was confident the border blockade would be resolved.

Speaking at an international conference on "Grain from Ukraine" in Kyiv, Zelensky said Poland needed to be given "some time" to resolve the issue.

On Saturday morning, 750 trucks were stuck at Poland's Dorohusk checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, and the waiting time for crossing the border was 230 hours, Polish police said.

At the Hrebenne checkpoint, the queue totalled 730 trucks and the waiting time was 163 hours, according to officials. 

On Friday, the Federation of Employers of Ukraine (FEU) and the Association of International Road Carriers of Ukraine issued a letter to Zelensky and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, urging them to help unblock the border with Poland.

Polish truckers, farmers block Ukraine border

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, the 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, Ukraine's Ukrinform news agency reported.

The Polish protests coincide with concerns in Ukraine that the European Union may not agree next month to launch formal accession talks for it to join the 27-member bloc, a key objective for Kyiv, according to the Reuters news agency.

It reported that prolonged protests and the resulting disruption to trade could affect Ukraine's fragile, wartime economy.

The price of motor vehicle gas (LPG), which is widely used to fuel cars, has surged 30 percent due to the protests, according to an industry analyst cited by Reuters.

Monday is day 642 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.


Source: Polsat NewsInteria.pl, Ukrinform, Reuters