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Ukraine-Poland border blockade: One checkpoint reopened

Ukraine-Poland border blockade: One checkpoint reopened Photo: Poles block four checkpoints on the border (Getty Images)

Polish protesters have lifted the blockade at the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint. However, four directions remain blocked for trucks as of today, says Andriy Demchenko, a spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, in a comment to RBC-Ukraine.

Where is the blockade still ongoing?

Polish farmers are blocking the movement of trucks, allowing only a few freight vehicles per hour in both directions or completely restricting traffic on certain routes where they are located. As of today, the blockade is in place at 4 checkpoints," Demchenko said.

According to him, Polish protesters have not been allowing trucks to pass into Poland via the Yahodyn and Rava-Ruska checkpoints, where there have been no crossings reported leaving Ukraine. They also only allow a very small number of trucks per day to leave Poland via the Yahodyn route, with only 50 trucks leaving in the past day.

As of this morning, there are nearly 850 trucks queued up in Poland on these 4 routes (Yahodyn, Ustyluh, Uhryniv, and Rava-Ruska), with the highest number of trucks at the Yahodyn checkpoint.

Are buses and cars being blocked?

As the spokesperson for the Border Guard Service said, passenger cars and buses are freely crossing the border with Poland, and there are no restrictions on this category of vehicles.

Which checkpoint has been unblocked for trucks?

The State Border Guard Service reminds that yesterday, at the Medyka checkpoint opposite the Ukrainian Shehyni checkpoint, Polish farmers did not allow trucks, buses, or cars to enter or leave Poland until 8 p.m. However, after 8 p.m., they ended the blockade for buses and cars.

"In addition, at the Shehyni checkpoint, Polish farmers have stopped blocking trucks. Ukrainian border guards received this information around 9:30 p.m. from representatives of the Polish Border Guard. They indicated that Polish farmers have ended the blockade of trucks entering and leaving Poland," Demchenko reported.

Crossings for this category of transport have resumed as usual.

Border blockade

In November of last year, Polish carriers began protests on the border with Ukraine, demanding the return of pass systems for Ukrainian carriers and the cancellation of the customs visa-free regime between the EU and Ukraine.

In early December, Kyiv and Warsaw agreed on conditions to unblock the border for truck traffic. On January 6 of this year, the Polish government signed an agreement with farmers to end the border blockade, and on January 16, Poles completely lifted the blockade of the border with Ukraine. However, the blockade of the Ukrainian border as a "means of resolving internal problems" for Polish farmers has persisted.

On February 9, the Polish side renewed the blockade. This time, Polish farmers started protests both on the country's roads and at border checkpoints with Ukraine. It is expected that this blockade will last at least until the end of April.

This second attempt at blocking became more critical as farmers repeatedly resorted to provocations by spilling grain. On February 25, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal stated that Poland had already held accountable the first violators on the Ukrainian-Polish border.

His Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, noted that the Polish government was doing everything possible to find mutually acceptable solutions. Polish media report that Warsaw allegedly managed to reach an agreement with protesters, signing a deal for subsidies per ton of grain and temporarily closing the border with Ukraine for the transit of certain agricultural products.