Infrastructure ministry blames Warsaw as Ukrainian trucks held up by Polish border

4 September, 06:59 PM
A 50-kilometer queue of 2,400 vehicles formed at the Yagodin checkpoint (Photo:Mustafa Nayyem / Facebook)

A 50-kilometer queue of 2,400 vehicles formed at the Yagodin checkpoint (Photo:Mustafa Nayyem / Facebook)

Polish sanitation workers and veterinarians are to blame for huge lines of trucks building up at the countries’ mutual border, Ukraine’s Deputy Infrastructure Minister Mustafa Nayyem wrote on Facebook on Sept. 3.

According to the official, the situation on the Ukrainian-Polish border is getting critical and can turn catastrophic as lines of trucks from the Ukrainian side in some cases reach 45 kilometers, with drivers stuck on the roadside near checkpoints, in terrible conditions, for a week or more, at the same time losing income.

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"There are brawls in the lines, carriers threaten to block the route," Nayyem said.

“The main reason for these lines is the inefficiency of the Polish services carrying out sanitary and veterinary control.”

According to Nayyem, neither the border nor customs services of Ukraine are perfect, but their work has become more effective over the past four months.

"The main indicator is a comparison of the length of lines on the Ukrainian and Polish sides,” the deputy minister explained.

He said that the number of employees of both services has increased by almost one-and-a-half times, with the average time for one car to pass through the Ukrainian services decreasing to 10-15 minutes, as the reconstruction of certain checkpoints takes place.

"Our services are ready to inspect more and more trucks every day. But the flow of thousands of vehicles ends up in a traffic jam on the Polish side," Nayyem said.

He noted that since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, sanitary and veterinary control on the Polish border has slowed down by several times. As an example, the deputy minister cited the Dorohusk checkpoint, when in the pre-crisis period, the Polish systems processed about 80 trucks per day, while over the last five days it has been 12-25 trucks daily.

"It is cynical that, against this background, Polish transporters threaten to block roads, demand to help empty trucks pass out of turn,” the deputy minister wrote. “They complain about conflicts in lines and aggressive behavior of our drivers."

In his opinion, demanding fast-tracked passage from Polish carriers is "a fierce injustice," since Polish carriers, thanks to the quicker Ukrainian services, entered Ukraine nearly without a queue and manage to complete two round trips in a week, while a loaded Ukrainian carrier is forced to wait in lines up to a week.

"The blocking of routes and protests announced by Polish carriers will only exacerbate the situation. Now our exports may not just be slowed down, but also completely stopped at certain sections of the border," Nayyem said.

He said that the Ukrainian side has repeatedly – at many closed, open, joint and bilateral meetings – offered a simple solution, which is to increase the number of workers on the Polish side, and for Ukrainian experts to help their Polish colleagues, or even to move this control beyond the current checkpoints, further into the country.

"We declare with all honesty: our priority is to increase the volume of exports," Nayyem said.

“We need to trade with the world. Without this, our economy will not be able to survive until victory.”

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