11:45 29 Nov 2023

EU Council to discuss situation around blockade on Polish-Ukrainian border

The European Union Transport Council will discuss the situation of border crossings between Poland and Ukraine at the ministerial level. 

According to RMF FM radio station, the EU Transport Council meeting agenda includes changes to the "YeCherga" system and additional lanes at crossings for empty trucks returning to the European Union.

The topic of protests at the Polish-Ukrainian border is scheduled for discussion at the end of the meeting next Monday.

"The issue of protests by Polish carriers will be raised at the end of the meeting of EU transport ministers next Monday," said an EU diplomat in an interview with Katarzyna Shymanska-Borynon.

Poland brought up this matter under the so-called "various business" category, which any country can present after the Transport Council meeting. Hungary and Slovakia also want to participate.

"We expect that the delegations of the three countries will present the situation and inform the Council about the impact of the EU agreement with Ukraine on transport," said the EU diplomat.

If the issue is not resolved by Monday, there is a possibility that the European Commission will intervene. The Commission is involved in negotiations between carriers, the Polish government, and the Ukrainian side.

A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed that the return of permits for Ukrainian carriers cannot happen, as it would violate EU legislation. Instead, the Commission urges Ukraine to create additional lanes for empty trucks returning from Ukraine.

Regarding the Ukrainian "YeCherga," criticized by Polish carriers for flaws and their desire to cancel it, an EU spokesperson mentioned that the authorities in Kyiv "made several improvements to the system." He added, "These changes should address the problems of the protesters."

Background on the closure of the Ukrainian-Polish border

As reported by Rubryka, Polish carriers initiated an indefinite protest on November 6.

On November 22, the Ukrainian Parliament appealed to the new Sejm and Senate of Poland with a proposal to unblock the border for carriers.

In response, Ukraine established an assistance headquarters for drivers stranded at the border. A coordinator is assigned to each of the three points in constant communication.

In Poland, a second Ukrainian driver has died at the checkpoint "Korczowa – Krakivets," where Polish carriers are blocking the border. Kyiv has started gathering data for the evacuation of Ukrainian drivers, as negotiations with local and central authorities in Poland and the EU have not been successful.

Polish farmers, who initially planned to block the border until Saturday, want to extend their protest 24 hours a day until January 3.

President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the situation at the Poland-Ukraine border occurred "due to certain political moves by our neighbors." He suggests giving Poles some time, and everything will "warm up."

Polish protesters do not rule out a complete blockade of the border.

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