Ukraine counting costs of Polish border blockade

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Kiev says it has suffered losses of over $437 million due to Polish trucker protests which have blocked border crossings from the country into the EU, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Thursday, citing the Federation of Employers of Ukraine.

According to the report, every day of strike action by Polish haulers at the border with Ukraine is costing Ukrainian companies an average of €25,400 each.

The situation is really critical… We record the losses of our haulers based on the lost profitability – €350 ($380) per day of layover,” Volodymyr Balin, vice president of the Association of International Road Haulers of Ukraine, said at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine in Kiev.

As of Monday morning, there were approximately 2,900 trucks waiting in queues at the Polish-Ukrainian border, according to Andrei Demchenko, spokesman for the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) in Kiev.

Polish truckers started blocking crossings on November 6, citing the EU’s decision to exempt Ukrainian truckers from having to seek permits to cross the border. The haulers claim the waiver has harmed their business by encouraging competition from Ukraine, which is not an EU member state, and driving down prices.

According to the Polish Infrastructure Ministry, the country’s truckers are ready to unblock the border once Brussels reinstates the use of EU entry permits for Ukrainian haulers.

Their other demands include access to the Shliakh, a Ukrainian digital system that allows male drivers or volunteers of military age to cross the border if they are transporting humanitarian or medical supplies. Polish truckers are also seeking separate queues for trucks from the EU in the Ukrainian eCherha system and separate queues for empty trucks.

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