Slovak haulers join Polish colleagues in blocking Ukrainian trucks – state border agency
Photo: UNAS/Facebook

On Tuesday, carriers stationed in Slovakia started blocking truck traffic passing through the Vyšne Nemecke border crossing with Ukraine, according to a statement from the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service.

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"According to information from the Border Police of the Slovak Republic, today at 1:30 p.m. the blocking of the traffic of trucks moving in the direction of the Slovak checkpoint Vyšne Nemecke, which is adjacent to the Ukrainian checkpoint Uzhhorod," the message said.

The blocking was initiated and carried out by the Union of Motor Carriers of Slovakia (UNAS). The terms of the blocking are not reported.

Currently, there are about 300 trucks in Slovakia on the approach to the Vyšne Nemecke crossing point in the direction of Ukraine, the border gurads reported.

Passing of cars and buses is carried out as usual.

On Tuesday morning, UNAS published a statement according to which the condition for blocking the border is the results of today's meeting between representatives of Polish and Ukrainian carriers.

"If an agreement is not reached and Polish carriers continue their protests, UNAS management has decided to join these protests," the statement said.

There are no more recent messages on the Union's Facebook page. The Slovak mass media have not yet written about the protests near Vyšne Nemecke.

Slovak haulers threatened to join the blockade of the Ukrainian border last Wednesday. They demanded that the Ministry of Transport start interaction with the European Commission and demand that licenses be reissued to Ukrainian carriers.

The next day, Slovakia closed the border with Ukraine for an hour. Truckers said that the move should be regarded as a warning.

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.

The carriers were reportedly protesting the situation in which they allege Ukrainian truck drivers are "taking jobs away from Poles."

Three checkpoints were blocked as a result: Korczowa – Krakivets, Hrebenne – Rava-Ruska, and Dorohusk – Yahodyn. The protesters pledged to continue the blockade until January 3, 2024, demanding that Polish authorities address their concerns.

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.