21 Feb 2024 16:12

Ukraine's border service says vehicles in 'traffic jams' at border with Poland redirected to other countries - media

MOSCOW. Feb 21 (Interfax) - Traffic flows from Ukraine and in the opposite direction that are blockaded at six of the nine checkpoints at the border with Poland are being redirected to other countries, Ukrainian media reported, citing official representative of Ukraine's State Border Service Andrei Demchenko's post on social media.

Protesting Polish farmers are allowing one or two trucks per hour through in both directions. The most difficult situation is at the Yagodin-Dorogusk and Shegini-Medyka checkpoints, where protesters are not allowing cargo vehicles traveling from Ukraine to Poland to pass at all.

"Yesterday [February 20], the situation was different, because Polish farmers scaled up their actions to block traffic for vehicles. They made it practically impossible for trucks to move in all directions at the three border checkpoints of Ustilug-Zosin, Ugryniv-Dolgobochiv, and Rava Russkaya-Hrebenne, where they have limited the movement of other categories of transport, particularly cars and buses, which for a certain time also could not cross the border either to Ukraine or to Poland. Traffic in these directions for cars and buses returned to normal gradually after 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.," Demchenko said.

Demchenko also said that cars and buses on Wednesday are passing through blocked checkpoints without problems.

The total number of blocked cargo vehicles in queues at Poland-Ukraine checkpoints exceeds 2,500 owing to protesting Polish farmers, the representative of the State Border Service said.

Demchenko noted that checkpoints with other countries are operating as usual, though the load is increasing because drivers are selecting them as alternative routes to border crossings with Poland. Demchenko said that this has been particularly noticeable from the situation at the borders with Slovakia and Hungary.

"There were no queues just several weeks ago, though there are now around 600 cargo vehicles in queues as of Wednesday morning on the territory of Slovakia opposite the Uzhgorod-Vysne-Nemecke checkpoint. Around 750 vehicles are waiting to cross the border on the territory of Hungary opposite the Tisza [Chop-Zakhon] checkpoint," Demchenko said.

Demchenko also said that the volume of traffic through the checkpoints corresponds to the capacity for each one.

A nationwide farmers strike started in Poland on February 9. The strikers' main demands include adjusting the European Commission's "green" course, limiting the flow of Ukrainian agricultural products to the Polish market, as well as increasing the profitability of agricultural production. The protests will last 30 days, during which farmers intend to block all Ukraine-Poland border crossings and transport hubs.

Ukrzaliznytsia, or Ukrainian Railways, yesterday called on Ukrainian farmers to redirect themselves to Hungary from Poland owing to attempts by Polish farmers to block railway tracks.