18 Jan 2024 11:35

Romanian protestors to block third checkpoint on border with Ukraine - Ukrainian customs

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) - Romanian protestors plan to block truck traffic at another checkpoint on the border with Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian media reported, citing Ukraine's State Customs Service.

This refers to the Halmeu-Dyakove border crossing, on the Romanian side of which local truckers and farmers are expected to start a protest in the morning. As a result, truck traffic could be temporarily restricted or blocked. However, the blockade will not affect cars and buses, the customs service said.

Romanian protestors are already blocking two checkpoints on the border with Ukraine, Siret-Porubnoye and Vicovu de Sus-Krasnoilsk, the service recalled.

The service said it would provide additional information about the operation of the Halmeu-Dyakove checkpoint and the likely duration of the protest after it receives official confirmation of the blockade.

Romania is one of the main routes for Ukrainian agricultural exports. The Ukrainian Agrarian Policy Ministry said that almost half of the cargo transported by road in the first ten days of January was exported through Romania. Around 20% of Ukraine's food exports by road, sea and rail currently go through Romania.

The agricultural sectors in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have been affected by duty-free supplies of cheap food to the EU from Ukraine, which piled up on the markets of these countries and brought down prices for local products. Under pressure from these five states, the European Commission in May introduced a ban on the import of a number of Ukrainian crops such as wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower, which was in effect through September 15. Subsequently, a number of countries introduced restrictions on agricultural trade with Ukraine at the national level.

Truckers from EU countries neighboring Ukraine, in particular, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, are unhappy with the abolition of the system of permits for Ukrainian truckers to operate on the European market. This, in their opinion, is causing freight tariffs to collapse. Carriers are staging protests at border checkpoints with Ukraine, blocking the movement of trucks.