22 Nov 2023 14:01

Passage of trucks across Slovak-Ukrainian border checkpoint temporarily reopened

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The Vysne Nemecke border crossing point in Slovakia opposite Ukraine's Uzhgorod border post has been temporarily unblocked to truck traffic, Ukrainian media have reported with reference to the Ukrainian State Border Service's Telegram channel.

"As of this morning, there were about 350 trucks in front of the Vysne Nemecke crossing point in Slovakia heading for Ukraine. Passage of cars and buses across the crossing point in both directions is continuing as usual," it said.

There are two automobile border crossings between Ukraine and Slovakia, i.e. Vysne Nemecke-Uzhgorod and Ubl'a-Maly Berezny.

As reported, the Slovak haulers' union UNAS has initiated an open-ended blockade of truck traffic through the Vysne Nemecke checkpoint since November 21. There were around 300 trucks on the Slovak side of the Vysne Nemecke-Uzhgorod border checkpoint that day. Cars and buses have passed through the checkpoint as usual.

In addition, traffic through three checkpoints on the Polish-Ukrainian border has been partially blocked due to a protest by Polish truckers since November 6. Ukrainian First Deputy Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Taras Vysotsky said earlier this week that the situation was threatening to the Ukrainian agro-industrial complex, which exports more than 70% of its agricultural products.

Bloomberg has reported that haulers from Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic intended to appeal to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to review the agreement with Ukraine on liberalizing freight transport terms (the so-called visa-free transport).

In the haulers' view, the agreement, which is valid until June 2024, is seriously disrupting the market and causing irreparable damage to European carriers. They demanded that the agreement's term of validity be reduced or at least that guarantees be provided that it would not be extended.