Ukraine warns EU of precarious energy situation as border blockade bites supply lines

Ukraine informed the European Union about the pre-crisis situation on the fuel market due to the blockade of the border by Polish carriers, Deputy Minister of Economy, trade representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka said on national television.

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"We rely on western border crossings not just for exports, but also to import vital supplies, especially energy commodities like autogas. With winter approaching and ongoing attacks from Russia, any blockades of these goods could create a crisis. While We can still debate measures on motor vehicles due to existing regulations, from an energy perspective this situation verges on crisis if preventative action is not taken. It has crisis potential if not crisis level impacts already. We hope the European Commission will work with us to implement mechanisms to defuse this potential crisis before it worsens," he stated.

According to Kachka, this week will be dedicated to working with the European Commission to find a solution in this direction.

"Regarding other potential shortages, I don't anticipate cheeses wholly vanishing from store shelves. We have normal domestic production, and there are alternative supply routes. However, there may be some interruptions, especially impacting European producers during the holiday season," he said.

The official added that in these conditions, the importance of sea imports through the Black Sea ports is increasing.

Kachka also stated that he views the Polish protest as "not very considerate of Ukraine and Ukrainians," noting that the protesters' demands lacked logical coherence.

"From a business development perspective, we aim to offset losses faced by those protesters through liberalizing auto services and increasing trade flows between Ukraine and Poland. By opening up new opportunities between our countries, we hope to compensate for business they previously had with Russia and Belarus. To take out frustrations on Ukrainian carriers due to the aggressive policies of Russia and Belarus seems misguided," said Kachka.

On November 6, a strike by Polish truck drivers began in the afternoon at border crossings along the Polish-Ukrainian frontier. As a result, multi-kilometer queues consisting of hundreds of trucks developed at the three largest checkpoints.

Both Ukraine and the European Union firmly declined the primary request of the demonstrators – to eliminate the "visa-free transport regime" that currently exists between Ukraine and the EU.