Ukraine and Poland open crossing to ease blockade
KYIV, Ukraine, Dec 3, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Ukraine and Poland will open a border crossing for empty trucks on Monday in a bid to ease a blockade by Polish hauliers, whose protests have paralysed traffic for weeks.
Polish truckers have been blocking major crossings with Ukraine since early November, demanding the reintroduction of entry permits for their Ukrainian competitors.
The Dolhobyczow-Ugryniv crossing, which currently serves cars and buses, will open to empty trucks travelling from Ukraine into Poland from Monday, Kyiv's border service said.
"The opening of Ugryniv is the first of a list of measures being implemented to unblock the border, reduce queues and increase the capacity of the Ukrainian-Polish border," it said.
Kyiv said Friday that the fallout from the Polish truckers' protest was "catastrophic" and that Ukrainian drivers stuck at the border were in a "dire" situation.
Huge queues have formed on both sides of the border, with many hauliers stuck in their vehicles for days in cold temperatures and with little food.
Warsaw said this week that it would carry out "stepped-up checks" on Ukrainian trucks travelling roads leading to the border in an effort to placate the protesting hauliers.
But protests have continued, and on Friday a major Slovakian truckers' union joined the protest, arguing that scrapping the permits for Ukraine put them at a disadvantage.