Poland says Ukraine must fulfill activists' demand: Poles practically stopped trade by blocking the border
Polish activists have blocked all 4 checkpoints for trucks weighing more than 7.5 tons. A queue of thousands of trucks has formed at the border, and the situation is only getting worse. Farmers have joined the protesting carriers.
Poland's Ministry of Infrastructure commented on the protesters' blocking of checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. According to a statement from the Polish ministry, the strikers are opposed to the electronic queue, among other things. According to the Polish side, it has caused "a significant increase in the waiting time for vehicles registered in the European Union that return empty from Ukraine to cross the Ukraine-EU border." Ukraine has been accused of "unequal treatment of carriers from Ukraine and Poland" under the new system.
"The idea is to eliminate the requirement to register in the electronic queue for vehicles returning from Ukraine to the EU without cargo at at least two border crossings: "Zosyn-Ustyluh and Nyzhankovychi-Malkhovytsia," the statement reads.
The second fatality was recorded on the Ukrainian-Polish border. The driver of a car with Kharkiv license plates died. According to the vice president of the Association of International Road Carriers of Ukraine, Volodymyr Balin, the driver died in a parking lot in Korchova.
The Ukrainian side is seeking negotiations with the participation of Poland and the EU. However, the European Commission has not yet confirmed the receipt of a letter requesting a monitoring mission on the Ukrainian-Polish border, Radio Liberty reports. Ukraine proposed that this group should record the situation at the checkpoints: the passage of dangerous goods and humanitarian aid, as well as the conditions under which Ukrainian drivers stay for more than two weeks.
"We see our role in this situation primarily as facilitating discussions between the Polish government, Ukrainian authorities and protesters. We are staying in touch with the governments, and of course we are following the situation on the ground very closely, which is actually surprisingly dire," said Adalbert Janz, a representative of the European Commission.
Losses of carriers are only part of Ukraine's economic losses. As Iryna Kosse, a research fellow at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, explained to OBOZ.UA, the losses of the entire Ukrainian economy are much higher, given the failure of enterprises to fulfill contracts and the suspension of production. Poland also has problems, and they are proportional to those of Ukraine. " Polish business will also suffer losses from this blockade. And it is possible that these losses are comparable to the Ukrainian ones," the expert noted.
Meanwhile, the strike is only gaining momentum: as of November 24, a queue of thousands of trucks has formed at the border, and four checkpoints have been blocked: "Yahodyn-Dorohusk, Rava-Ruska-Hrebynne, Krakovets-Korchova, and Medyka-Shehyni. . Ukraine plans to hold talks with Poland and the European Commission this week to unblock the Ukrainian-Polish border, where "Polish carriers" are protesting.
Who is behind the action
Ukrainian carriers claim that only one association of Polish carriers, which had previously worked actively with Russia, supported the blockade of the borders. It was politically represented by Polish politician Rafal Mekler. His party has a small representation in the Sejm. He represents the far right, which is against Poland's integration into the EU and in favor of limiting ties with Ukraine. However, the far-right does not enjoy much support in Poland (it has only 6 seats out of 460 in the parliament).
Rafal Mekler represents the far-right party Ruch Narodowy. He actively spreads Russian propaganda fakes about Ukraine, telling his voters about "Banderites." A few days after the outbreak of a full-scale war and the influx of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, he declared the "need to preserve the ethnic order".
According to Mykola Solsky, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the situation is complicated by the specific demands of the strikers. It is "difficult to find any constructive things in them".
As reported by OBOZ.UA, due to the blockade of the border by the Polish far-right, Ukraine's economy is suffering 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: businesses are actively looking for alternative ways to import goods or offer Ukrainians affordable analogues.