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Polish farmers block five checkpoints at Ukraine-Poland border

Polish farmers block five checkpoints at Ukraine-Poland border Andrii Demchenko ( Demchenko)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

As of the morning of February 13, Polish farmers blocked five checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. More than a thousand trucks are queuing up, according to Andrii Demchenko, spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

"As of now, five checkpoints are being blocked," he says.

According to him, yesterday until 10:00 a.m. Polish farmers blocked two directions: Yahodyn and Rava-Ruska. And after 10:00 a.m. they resumed blocking Shehyni and expanded the geography of their actions in the directions of Ustyluh and Uhryniv checkpoints.

"These are 5 directions where truck traffic is blocked in Poland," adds Demchenko.

He says that a small number of trucks are allowed to pass through. 1-2-3 trucks can pass in each direction per hour, both in the direction of Poland and outbound. "It all depends on the organizers and participants and their willingness to let cars pass through their conditional places where they block traffic. Fortunately, traffic for other categories of vehicles is not blocked. Cars and buses cross the border freely in both directions," explains the spokesperson.

Queues at border

As for the queues, as of this morning, there are about 1,250 trucks in the queues in all 5 directions, says Demchenko. Most of them are opposite Yahodyn and Rava-Ruska. "These are the trucks on the territory of Poland waiting to cross the border to Ukraine," he says.

The situation is better in the direction of the Ustyluh and Uhryniv checkpoints, where there are practically no queues. "But each checkpoint has its peculiarities. Some of them allow trucks weighing more than 7.5 tons to cross the border. That is large vehicles. For example, in the direction of the Ustyluh and Uhryniv checkpoints, trucks weighing less than 7.5 tons carrying cargo or empty trucks weighing more than 7.5 tons can cross the border," says Demchenko.

According to him, the queue is growing. "We are also seeing a decrease in the number of trucks that have been able to cross the border. This is especially noticeable in the direction of the Yahodyn checkpoint. On normal days, when the traffic was not blocked, about 1200-1400 trucks crossed the border in both directions per day, and on some days, it could be even more. For example, yesterday, 95 trucks crossed the border in this direction, 7 of which went to Poland and the rest to Ukraine. The day before, the number of border crossings was at 145 trucks per day," the spokesperson says.

Border blockade

Polish farmers began blockading the border with Ukraine on February 9, demanding that the decision on duty-free trade between Ukraine and the EU be canceled.

Earlier, from early November 2023 to mid-January 2024, Polish carriers blockaded several checkpoints on the border with Ukraine, demanding discriminatory measures against their Ukrainian counterparts, contrary to the European Commission's decision.

The maximum negative effect of these restrictions occurred in November 2023. The NBU estimates that direct losses amounted to about $160 million for exports of goods and $500 million for imports.

However, a fairly quick reorientation of trade flows to other modes of transport and routes, including the sea corridor, made it possible to fully offset the losses for exports and partially for imports.