Border unblocked, but hundreds of trucks still in queue: what is happening between Slovakia and Ukraine

Roman KostyuchenkoNews
Truck traffic temporarily unblocked on the border of Slovakia and Ukraine
Truck traffic temporarily unblocked on the border of Slovakia and Ukraine

Truck traffic on the border between Slovakia and Ukraine has been temporarily unblocked. However, in the morning, about 350 trucks were waiting in line at the Vyšné Nemecké checkpoint to enter Ukraine.

This was reported by the State Border Guard Service. They noted that the rest of the traffic is being processed as usual, both for entry and exit. These include, in particular:

  • cars;
  • buses.

"Truck traffic through the Vyšné Nemecké checkpoint has been temporarily unblocked. As of this morning, there are about 350 trucks on the territory of Slovakia in front of the Vyšné Nemecké checkpoint heading to Ukraine," the statement said.

What preceded it

On November 21, the spokesman for the State Border Guard Service, Andrii Demchenko, informed the media about the blocking of the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. "According to information received from the Border Police of the Slovak Republic, today at 13:30, traffic was blocked for trucks heading in the direction of the Slovak Vyšné Nemecké checkpoint, adjacent to the Ukrainian Uzhhorod checkpoint," he said.

At the same time, the Union of Road Carriers of Slovakia (UNAS) warned that they could "tie" the border blockade to a meeting of representatives of Polish and Ukrainian carriers scheduled for November 21. "If no agreement is reached and Polish carriers continue to protest, the UNAS leadership will join in," said the head of the union, Stanislav Skala.

At the same time, the Slovak-Ukrainian border has already been blocked before as a "warning". It happened on November 16 and lasted only 1 hour.

"Our goal is to support our Polish colleagues, as well as all carriers within the EU. We will ask the European Commission to immediately introduce permits for the transportation of Ukrainian vehicles," Skala said.

What do Polish and Slovak carriers demand?

Polish carriers with one of the local associations are trying to paralyze the border between Ukraine and Poland by blocking three checkpoints there for 15 days, including Yahodyn-Dorohusk, Korczowa-Krakovets and Rava-Ruska-Hrebenne. The carriers are demanding the abolition of the "transport visa-free regime" for Ukraine, which contradicts the agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

In fact, they want to return the system that was in place until June 2022. Back then, every carrier heading to the EU had to obtain permission to cross the border of a particular country.

Mustafa Nayyem, head of the State Agency for Infrastructure Restoration and Development of Ukraine, explained that this requirement is unrealizable, and Ukraine will not agree to return the system of permits for freight transportation. "Ukraine has no intention of even discussing a return to the permit system. The agreement on freight liberalization was ratified and agreed by all EU members and signed between the European Union and Ukraine, not by any individual country," Nayyem explained.

However, the Ministry of Transport of Slovakia has already agreed to assist UNAS. "In early December, the EU Council of Ministers will be held in Brussels, where the Slovak Minister of Transport will propose to reconsider this decision (to cancel the issuance of commercial permits to Ukrainian carriers - Ed.) The massive increase in the number of transportation through the EU by Ukrainian carriers is at the expense of European carriers," the Slovak ministry said.

It should also be borne in mind that the blockade of the border by Poland was organized by only one association of Polish carriers, which had previously been actively working with Russia. Polish politician Rafał Mekler took over the political representation. He represents the far-right Ruch Narodowy party and actively spreads Russian propaganda fakes about Ukraine, telling his voters about "Banderites."

As reported by OBOZ.UA, due to the blockade of the border by the Polish far-right, Ukraine's economy suffers significant losses, in particular, due to a decrease in the number of goods imported into the country. However, there is no need to talk about a critical decline in imports and an impending shortage of certain items as businesses are actively looking for other ways to import goods or offer Ukrainians affordable alternatives.

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