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Attempt to unblock border: Ukraine and Poland to hold meeting

Attempt to unblock border: Ukraine and Poland to hold meeting Ukraine and Poland to start talks on unblocking border crossings (GettyImages)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukraine is set to hold a meeting at the border with representatives from the Polish side to unlock border crossings. The negotiations are scheduled for today, November 13.

The following sources were used in the preparation of the material: State Border Guard Service, Polish media, and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

What is known about the announced meeting

As announced, today the Ministry of Community Development, Territories, and Infrastructure of Ukraine will meet with representatives of the Polish government and carriers at the border to unlock border crossing points.

The meeting will be attended by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland, representatives of voivodeships, the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland, and carriers.

Deputy Minister Serhii Derkach will represent the Ministry of Restoration at the meeting.

Issues resolved during the negotiations

Additionally, as a result of negotiations between Serhii Derkach and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland, Rafał Weber, the Ukrainian side has already resolved two issues raised by Polish counterparts.

These include the operation of lanes for empty transport directly at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk border crossing and the update of the functionality of the eQueue system – the ability to substitute drivers for empty trucks.

Furthermore, Polish counterparts were once again proposed to allow empty transport through the Uhryniv-Dolhobychuv border crossing, where a corresponding lane is available. Such an option would reduce waiting times for empty trucks at the border crossing. A decision on this proposal is still expected to come later.

The strike of Polish carriers

The agreement on transport visa-free regime was concluded in June 2022 and extended for another year in March 2023. This agreement exempted Ukrainian and European driver's license holders issued by either party from the requirement to have an international driver's license. This allowed carriers to avoid many bureaucratic procedures and simplify logistics at the border.

In addition, the agreement exempted Ukrainian carriers from the need to obtain permits for bilateral and transit transportation to EU countries.

According to Polish carriers, the cause of the strike was excessive competition following the liberalization of international transportation between Ukraine and EU countries.

On November 6, around 2:00 PM, Polish carriers began blocking the movement of trucks at the border with Ukraine at the crossings Krakovets-Korchova, Yahodyn-Dorohusk, and Rava-Ruska-Khrebene.

Media reports indicate that the strikers demand the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian carriers and a reduction in their number to the level that existed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Although the demands have not been officially communicated to the Ukrainian side.

Strikers have blocked access to border crossings and pledged to allow one truck to pass per hour and not hinder humanitarian shipments. Overall, more than 1,700 trucks have been stuck at the border for the third day due to the strike.

In addition, it was learned yesterday about a tragic event. A Ukrainian driver, who planned to cross the border, died in his truck at the Dorohusk-Yahodyn border crossing. The final information on the cause of death has not yet been reported.