1 Dec 2023 19:28

Slovak truckers start blockade of crossing on border with Ukraine

MOSCOW. Dec 1 (Interfax) - Slovakia's truckers union UNAS has begun blocking the movement of trucks through the Vysne Nemecke-Uzhgorod crossing on the border with Ukraine, Ukrainian media said, citing the Ukrainian State Border Service.

"According to information from the Slovak border guards, the movement of trucks at the Vysne Nemecke-Uzhgorod crossing began to be blocked at 16:05 local time on the territory of Slovakia," the service said on Telegram.

Truckers will not block the transportation of humanitarian aid, other essential cargo, fuel, refrigerated cargo or live animals. Remaining cargo will be allowed to leave Slovakia in limited quantities, in four trucks per hour.

Trucks will not be blocked on entry to Slovakia, and the movement of passenger vehicles and buses will not be restricted at all.

About 600 trucks were queueing to cross the Uzhgorod-Vysne Nemecke checkpoint as of the morning of December 1.

There are two checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Slovak border: Vysne Nemecke and Ubla - Maly Berezny.

UNAS has said the blockade would last indefinitely. Its key demand is the reinstatement of permits for Ukrainian truckers entering EU territory, which were suspended under an agreement in effect since July 1, 2022. UNAS believes that this agreement "has a destructive impact on the Slovak transport market and the markets of Ukraine's other neighbors."

Polish truckers are making similar demands. They progressively blocked four checkpoints on the border between Ukraine and Poland in November. Queues on the Polish side stretched up to 40 km. The protest has seriously affected Ukraine's agricultural exports. The European Commission considers the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border to be unacceptable