Polish truckers halt flow of fuel and aid, leaving Ukrainian trucks stranded at border
Trucks (Photo - EPA Darek Delmanowicz)

Polish carriers are blocking the movement of tank trucks and trucks with humanitarian aid from the Red Cross to Ukraine. Tanks with oil products, gas and other dangerous substances are standing in crowded parking lots and roadsides, Taras Svitlyk, a representative of a transport company from Lviv, told news agency Ukrinform.

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Currently 24 frame trucks (tent trailers. – ed.) and eight fuel tanks are waiting to be allowed across the border, according to him.

"This is the majority of all the company's trucks. We transport fuel in transit from Lithuania. Yesterday we spoke with the Polish police in Korczowa, they understand the danger, because the parking lot there is very overloaded with various special equipment with gasoline, gas, and various dangerous substances. This can be an emergency situation if it will explode. The Polish police understand, but throw up their hands and say that they have no influence on this," said the representative of the transport company.

According to him, large oil traders in Ukraine have reserves, so Ukrainians will not feel the lack of fuel at this stage.

"However, while driving along the Polish road T94, we saw a large number of UPG, WOG, SOCAR tanks. Their reserves may also run out, because we don't know how long it will last," Svitlyk added.

Polish border guards at the Korczowa-Krakivets and Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska checkpoints assured that they were primarily allowing flammable trucks, vans with perishable products and humanitarian aid for Ukraine through, but Ukrainian drivers claim that this is not the case.

In particular, two trucks from Ivano-Frankivsk, carrying humanitarian aid from the Netherlands, were sent for layover by the border guards of the Korczowa-Krakivets border crossing and were ordered to join the line. They have been waiting for the fourth day to take medical equipment to Kropyvnytskyi and Lubny.

"We take beds, wheelchairs, medical equipment, mattresses, blankets, disinfectants to the hospital. The police told us to be fast-tracked, but at the checkpoint itself they told us to turn around, register and look for parking. But there are no spaces. So we found near Jaroslaw, as far as 40 kilometers from the border, and we are waiting," said truck driver Vasyl Boyko.

On November 6, Polish carriers began blocking the border with Ukraine. They demand that their authorities change the situation in which Ukrainian truck drivers "take the jobs of Poles".

Three checkpoints were blocked: Korczowa-Krakivets, Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska, Dorohusk-Yahodyn. The truckers promise to carry out the blockade until January 3, 2024. And if their demands (the main one – cancellation of transport "visa-free regime" for Ukraine) are not met, then the border blockade will continue.

The Confederation political party, which is right-conservative and openly anti-Ukrainian, undertook to help the transporters for political reasons.

The Infrastructure Ministry counted 15 Polish strikers: they are holding thousands of trucks hostage.