Truckers’ Blockade at Poland-Ukraine Border Causes Traffic Chaos

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Border traffic between Poland and Ukraine briefly resumed on Monday after a truckers’ blockade was lifted at one checkpoint– but by evening the crossing was again blocked by a single Polish truck, according to Ukraine’s Border Guard service.

According to local media, the mayor of Dorohusk, a village in Poland near the border, has intervened to put an end to the protest that had been going on for a month. The mayor supposedly did this out of concern that the protest could negatively impact jobs in the region. As a result, road traffic at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing has now resumed in both directions. Aleksandr Kubrakov, the Infrastructure Minister of Kiev, has mentioned that 15 UKrainian trucks successfully crossed the border by early afternoon.

Nevertheless, as the evening approached, there were videos being shared on the internet that displayed a truck positioned diagonally, causing an obstruction in both lanes. Polish authorities confirmed that the truck had experienced a mechanical failure.

Rafal Mekler, an organizer of the Polish truckers’ picket, joked on X (formerly Twitter) that the vehicle may have decided to break down after it “reacted badly to the insults of the Ukrainian drivers” passing through the crossing. He later posted a video which appeared to show local police dispersing the truckers as they attempted to stop traffic during the night.

The organizer, Mekler, uploaded his application for a new protest on Tuesday morning, assuring that the protest was not finished. He stated, “We will persist and not surrender.”

The Polish blockade began in early November in protest at the EU’s decision to exempt Ukrainian truckers from having to seek permits to enter the bloc, in a bid to ease logistics amid Kiev’s conflict with Moscow.

Polish truckers claimed the move created unfair competitiion, with Ukrainian drivers being exempt from EU standards. Later in November, the protest was joined by Polish farmers, unhappy with the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain driving down prices.

Logistics operators in Hungary and Slovakia have claimed that they are facing unfair competition from Ukrainian freight carriers.

Starting on Monday, truck drivers from Hungary also initiated a blockade at the Zahony-Csop checkpoint located on the border with Ukraine. This resulted in a restriction on the number of trucks allowed to pass through, with only two being permitted per hour.

Earlier this month, Slovakia’s truckers began obstructing the country’s main road crossing with Ukraine, resulting in queues of more than a thousand vehicles.

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