In an effort to address the ongoing blockade at the Polish-Ukrainian border, the Polish border guard has suggested the establishment of an additional lane specifically for the passage of empty cargo vehicles from Ukraine. The proposal aims to ease the tensions caused by protesting Polish truckers, according to Deputy Interior Minister Bartosz Grodecki.
The announcement was made during a meeting with protesters on Saturday, where Grodecki and Alvin Gajadhur, the new Polish infrastructure minister, engaged with the demonstrators. Grodecki revealed that a letter had been sent to the Ukrainian authorities, proposing the opening of an extra lane for hauliers, specifically for empty transports. The designated crossing point for this initiative is Dolhobyczow.
During a press conference at the Wierzchowiska checkpoint after the meeting, Grodecki expressed his hope for a swift response from Ukraine and anticipated the additional lane to be operational by Monday.
Minister Gajadhur addressed reporters, stating that he had informed Polish protesters about an increase in transport checks on access roads leading to the border crossings with Ukraine. This move is part of an effort to address the concerns raised by the protesting truckers.
Gajadhur also mentioned a prior meeting with Waldemar Jaszczur, Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Transport Carriers and Employers. Jaszczur reportedly conveyed that Polish lorry drivers would consider easing their protest if controls on access roads were intensified.
The truckers initiated their protest on November 6, demanding the reintroduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies transporting goods, excluding humanitarian aid and military equipment. They also called for the suspension of operating permits for Ukrainian haulage firms established after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. The truckers argue that their businesses are being adversely affected by Ukrainian firms that pay lower wages to their drivers, resulting in reduced operating costs and heightened competition.
The Polish government plans to raise the issue at the upcoming sitting of the EU’s Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy Council (TTE) scheduled for December 4, as previously indicated by the government spokesperson. The proposal for an additional lane and increased controls on access roads represents the latest developments in the ongoing efforts to address the concerns of both truckers and authorities at the Polish-Ukrainian border.