Polish drivers returning to the country from Ukraine have to wait up to two weeks at the border. That’s why carriers started a protest on Monday. They blocked three border crossings with trucks: in Hrebenne, Dorohusk and Korczowa. They have two demands on how to defend our market.
Carriers started their protest on Monday at noon and blocked the main border crossings with Ukraine. They announce that they will stay there for two weeks. – The protest will be continuous, meaning we will stand here for 24 hours. We will block transport traffic, of course – with the exception of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Ukrainian army. We will allow one car to pass per hour – says Tomasz Borkowski from the Committee for the Defense of Carriers and Transport Employers.
Protesters block the exit from Poland through the crossings in Korczowa, Hrebenne and Dorohusk. They demand the restoration of the regulations that were in force before the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine. – Certain solutions are being introduced without consulting us, and we have to find our way in it, and we can’t find our way in it anymore – says carrier Jacek Sokół.
Before the Russian aggression, Ukrainian trucks could enter Poland only with a special permit. After February 24, 2022, this requirement was abolished. However, companies from across the eastern border cannot transport goods between European Union countries. Polish carriers claim that no one controls this. – Most of these cars arrive empty, they collect loads from Poland and take them all over Europe. They are simply taking our work, says Bartosz Jasiński, the owner of a transport company.
This year, almost 900,000 Ukrainian trucks have entered Poland. Before the war, there were 180,000 of them a year.
What does the Ministry of Infrastructure say about this?
According to economist Jadwiga Gierczycka, it is necessary to check who is actually behind this business. – How much capital is in these companies? Is it Russian, Georgian or Turkish capital, because there are a lot of these companies – points out Gierczycka.
Polish carriers also make demands to the Ukrainian authorities. They want to be allowed to use the online system that manages queues at the borders, because now Polish trucks without cargo have to wait up to two weeks to return to the country. – Would you be able to endure sitting in a car for two weeks in Poland? There is nowhere to go, nowhere to eat – notes Janusz Stysiał, a carrier from Jarosław.
We asked the Ministry of Infrastructure about the protest. In the response, we read, among other things, that the agreement with Ukraine was concluded by the European Union and until the agreement expires, Poland cannot do anything.
– There was time to react appropriately here. There was no reaction and I am afraid that these people found themselves in the same situation as farmers, who were also not provided with support – points out Maciej Wroński, president of the Employers’ Association “Transport i Logistyka Polska”.
The dispute over Ukrainian grain led to a deep crisis between Warsaw and Kiev.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN