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Locked Out: Hungarian, Slovakian and Polish Truckers Are Blocking Border Checkpoints With Ukraine – Protests Over Kiev’s Haulers Privileges Are Hurting Military Campaign

  After Black Sea ports were blocked by Russia, the land exits faced disruptive protests by neighbor truckers. Hungarian freight carriers, s...


After Black Sea ports were blocked by Russia, the land exits faced disruptive protests by neighbor truckers.

Hungarian freight carriers, starting December 11, begin an official demonstration and block a checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, according to the Association of Hungarian Road Carriers.

Yahoo reported:

“Truckers from Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia argue they are being unfairly treated by existing EU policies because their Ukrainian counterparts do not have to purchase expensive permits.

Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian drivers had to apply for permits to enter EU countries. But Brussels suspended transport permits last year until June 2024 as part of the Solidarity Lanes Initiative to help Ukraine’s struggling export industry after Russia blocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. The protesters are demanding the EU reinstate permits for Ukrainian drivers.”

The development comes right after Truckers in Slovakia joined the Polish counterparts, who pioneered staging blockades at the border with Ukraine.


The spreading of the blockades in a protest over competition creates a situation that Kiev says has disrupted crucial humanitarian aid imports.

Bloomberg reported:

“The Union of Slovak Haulers began the labor action on Friday at the country’s only crossing for freight transport, extending blockades along the Poland-Ukraine frontier that’s caused traffic chaos for weeks. The Slovak drivers are demanding that the European Union reverse a wartime decision to loosen licensing rules for Ukrainian truckers.

The disruption to competition has had a ‘devastating impact on the Slovak transport market, but also on the markets of other neighboring states and throughout the EU’, the union said in a statement. The organization, which will gauge whether a Dec. 4 meeting of EU transport ministers in Brussels address their demands, said the blockade will last until further notice.

Polish truckers began blocking three crossings with Ukraine on Nov. 6, triggering pileups of tens of thousands of vehicles on both sides of the border in freezing temperatures. Two Ukrainian drivers have died. The government in Kyiv accused Poland of inaction as trade is disrupted as the country fights off the Russian invasion. Warsaw has pointed the finger at Kyiv.”

Meanwhile, the month-long border blockade by the Polish truck drivers has caused severe disruptions to crucial supplies for Ukraine’s war effort.

Business Insider reported:

“Ivan Poberzhniak, the head of procurement and logistics for Come Back Alive, a charity that helps the Ukrainian military, said ‘deliveries have practically stopped’ at the border, leaving around 200 pickup trucks — needed to carry injured soldiers or ammunition — and 3,000 tourniquets stranded.

The blockade started after Polish truck drivers took issue with Ukrainian truckers, who they say have been offering lower prices for deliveries around the European Union thanks to a temporary waiver they received on transport rules following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.”

The situation has become so dire in the Polish-Ukrainian border that trucks are being transported to Poland by rail, to bypass the blockage by Polish drivers.

Reuters reported:

“Ukrainian authorities say about 3,500 lorries are blocked on the Polish side of the Polish-Ukrainian border as of Sunday morning and so far authorities have not been able to reach an agreement with the protesters to stop the action.

The main demand of Polish haulers is to stop Ukrainian truckers from having permit-free access to the European Union, something that Kyiv and Brussels say is not negotiable.”

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