Poland to bar trucks from Russia, Belarus from entry

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Poland will close its border to trucks registered in Belarus and Russia from 1 June, its interior minister Mariusz Kaminski moved on Monday.

The ban applies to trucks, truck tractors, trailers, including semi-trailers and road trains, and will remain in force "until further notice".

While restrictions on Russian and Belarusian transport have already been in place in Poland, vehicles with Polish registration with semi-trailers registered in Belarus, for example, were allowed to cross the border. The current decision prohibits this.

On 10 February, Poland unilaterally suspended the operation of Bobrowniki, one of the largest border crossing points with Belarus, after Polish-born journalist Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced in Belarus on politically motivated charges.

In response, Belarus has banned Polish carriers from crossing the border at the Belarusian-Lithuanian and Belarusian-Latvian border crossing points.

Later, Poland also unilaterally suspended the operation of the Kukuryki border crossing point, the only active border crossing point with Belarus for freight traffic.

Last week, Russia’s parliament initiated a ban on Polish trucks travelling through Russia, allegedly in response to Warsaw’s decision to seize the premises used by the Russian embassy as a school for the children of its diplomats and the destruction of Soviet monuments in Poland.

The decision is yet to be made, however.