Polish Border Crossing With Ukraine Again Blocked After Temporary Lifting

A monthlong blockade of Ukrainian border crossings by protesting Polish truck drivers was briefly lifted on Monday at one crossing, but by evening, police said the road leading to it was again impassable.

The lifting of the blockade for a few hours at the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing had allowed vehicles and goods to pass through into Ukrainian territory. Broadcaster Polsat News earlier reported that a Polish mayor had taken action to stop the blockade because he feared it would hurt local jobs.

Polish truckers have been blockading four of the eight road crossings between the two countries since early November to protest Ukrainian drivers getting permit-free access to the EU.

Monday evening, a police spokesperson in the border area said a truck had stopped diagonally across the road leading to the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing due to an apparent breakdown, blocking traffic in both directions.

She said a tow truck was on its way to remove the vehicle.

Earlier on Monday, European Union Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean had welcomed the reopening of Yahodyn-Dorohusk, calling it “the most significant border crossing point between Poland and Ukraine.”

“I want to remind all involved parties of the damage these protests cause to the European economy, to the supply chains, to other road operators, and Ukraine, a country at war,” she said, calling for the remaining border crossing points to be unblocked without delay.

Thousands of trucks carrying commercial goods have been backed up for weeks at Poland’s border crossings with Ukraine because of the protests, which began on November 6.

The Polish truckers have accused their Ukrainian counterparts of using their permit-free access to the EU to undercut prices and offer services they are not allowed to.

They said on Monday their protest had not ended, and they were taking legal action against a reported local order disbanding one stoppage.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, deputy prime minister for the restoration of Ukraine, said 15 trucks had passed into Ukraine by the Yahodyn-Dorohusk crossing during the temporary halt. Plans called for trucks to be cleared to head the other way, Kubrakov said on Facebook.

Ukraine’s customs service had earlier reported that the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint was open in both directions.

It said on Telegram that 1,000 trucks were waiting to enter Ukraine from Poland, and 100 trucks would go in the opposite direction.

The protest has pushed up prices of fuel and some food items in Ukraine and delayed drone deliveries to its troops fighting invading Russian forces.

Both Kyiv and Brussels say the access agreement is not negotiable. But Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhiy Derkach said Ukraine was open to talks.

“We are ready for a constructive dialog with the Polish authorities to resolve the situation completely and prevent further protests,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

The Ukrainian border service also reported on Telegram that truckers in Slovakia had resumed a partial blockade of the country’s sole freight road crossing with Ukraine.

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