Polish truckers expand Ukraine border blockade as farmers join in
November 23, 2023 05:56 PM
Polish transport companies Thursday expanded their protests against what they call unfair competition from Ukrainian truckers by blocking another border checkpoint.
A blockade begun earlier this month at three major border crossing points with Ukraine has now extended to the Medyka crossing in southern Poland as talks between Warsaw and Kyiv failed to yield a solution.
In Medyka, the protesting truckers were joined by local farmers who say grain prices have been depressed by Ukrainian imports.
"We are here at the border in Medyka today, starting a three-day warning protest against the situation in agriculture and in transport," Roman Kondrow, the leader of the farmers protest in Medyka, told AFP.
Farmers have called for subsidies and preferential loans to support their businesses and said they would block the Medyka crossing for several hours a day before imposing a full-scale blockade starting Monday.
"We stand behind our Polish national transport sector and we support each other - they support us, we support them," Kondrow added.
The organisers are allowing passenger traffic as well as humanitarian and military aid to pass through.
The Polish and Ukrainian infrastructure ministries, along with EU representatives, have been in talks to resolve the crisis but have yet to reach an agreement.
The Polish news agency PAP said "around a thousand" trucks were currently lining up to cross the border at Korczowa checkpoint, with 750 trucks queueing up in Dorohusk and around 620 vehicles at the Hrebenne crossing.
On Wednesday, organisers of the truckers protest said local authorities had allowed the blockage in Dorohusk, originally planned until December 3, to go on two more months.