Polish Truckers Grievance with Ukraine, EU Not Ending Soon


Polish truckers who have been protesting along the border with Ukraine since last month have threatened to continue with the blockade for up to two months. They have blocked border crossings with Ukraine because of excessive competition, after the liberation of international transport between Kyiv and the European Union.

The blockade and restrictions have left thousands of Ukrainian drivers stranded in Poland. They have been waiting for days to get to Ukraine. Protesters have defied the sub-zero temperatures, camping out in tents with snow all around and fires in open barrels to keep themselves warm.

The European Commission has threatened to launch legal action against Warsaw if EU rules are not properly applied. The blockade has emerged as a major crisis, reflecting the challenges that await Ukraine which is very keen on being part of the EU.

EU Rebukes Poland

Adina Valean, Transport Commissioner, said the Polish authorities are supposed to enforce the law at the border. “While I support the right of the people to protest, the entire EU – not to mention Ukraine, a country currently at war – cannot be taken hostage by blocking our external borders. It’s simple as that.” The official warned that if Poland fails to act, the Commission would hit Warsaw with an infringement for not respecting the rules or not applying the law.

Ukraine wants the European Commission to take swift action.  Kyiv highlighted a violation of memoranda on the capacity of Ukrainian-Polish crossing points. Moreover, Polish demands are unacceptable to Ukraine. Polish truckers are demanding a return to the permit system for Ukrainian carriers to work in the EU. In 2021, Poland did not agree to permits for Ukrainian carriers, this restricted the export of goods from Ukraine to the EU.

But tables turned on Poland in 2022 when the EU completely waived the requirement for Ukrainians, amid the Russian invasion, to obtain the permits for a year and extended this provision until June 2024. As such, Polish carriers want the cancellation of this privilege and return to the old permitting system.

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Ukraine Truckers Lower Prices

Polish truckers have also raised concerns about Ukrainian carriers offering lower prices for their services. The Ukrainian truckers are not bound by EU standards. But Polish truckers see this as unfair competition; for years they have enjoyed a leading position in Europe’s transport sector.

They are also demanding for empty trucks returning from Ukraine to be excluded from eCherha (an electronic queuing system set up by Kyiv). The protesting Polish truckers say this creates excessive waiting times and exposes their companies to economic losses.



Salma Hussain is an MBBS doctor who loves to write on health-related topics. Apart from this, writing on sports and entertainment topics is her hobby. She is playing the role of an important writer in Arab Post.

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