Ukrainian ambassador to Poland: No grounds for further border blockade

Ukrainian ambassador to Poland: No grounds for further border blockade

Negotiations with the Polish government are ongoing and certain points of contact and compromises have been found, so the proposals are enough for the protesters to stop blocking the border.

Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland Vasyl Zvarych said this in a comment to Ukrinform.

"We are doing everything possible to stop this protest as soon as possible, so that the traffic on the border is unblocked. We continue negotiations with the Polish government. We have found certain points of contact and compromises. And we really hope that these proposals, which we worked out together with the Polish government, will be enough for the protesters to stop the protest," Zvarych said.

He recalled that every day of protest causes huge losses not only to the Ukrainian economy, but also to businesses in Poland and other countries.

The diplomat said that "there is no reason to continue protests to restrict traffic at the border."

"We can solve all the issues that are bothering the Polish protesters at the negotiating table. But we want to see goodwill on their part to settle the issue and not exacerbate it even more," he said.

Zvarych said that the requirements for permits for international cargo transportation are not issues that need to be resolved now. He noted that this is the competence of the EU, so it should be discussed together with Brussels.

"But as long as the Russian aggression is ongoing, we cannot return these permits, as this will hit Ukraine's economy even harder. And in wartime, revenues to the budget are absolutely necessary for strengthening the defense capability of the Ukrainian state," the ambassador said.

He expressed hope that the protesters would take with understanding the decisions already worked out with the Polish government, which everyone is waiting for.

"We need to unblock the border and sit down to negotiate, as there is no other way," Zvarych said.

He also noted that the border issue should be solved comprehensively. Firstly, the expansion of throughput capacity should be done through the expansion of new checkpoints, infrastructure development, he said.

"The fact that the Uhryniv-Dolhobyczow checkpoint will be fully operational is a positive moment in the comprehensive settlement of this problem," the Ukrainian diplomat said.

From December 4, empty heavy vehicles with a total permissible weight of more than 7.5 tonnes will cross the Ukrainian-Polish border through the Uhryniv-Dolhobyczow checkpoint. The opening of this border crossing is the first item on the list of measures that are being implemented to unblock the Ukrainian-Polish border.

Read also: Uhryniv-Dołhobyczow border crossing point to be open for empty trucks leaving Ukraine

On November 6, Polish hauliers began blocking the movement of trucks near the three largest checkpoints on the border with Ukraine: Korczowa-Krakivets, Hrebenne-Rava-Ruska and Dorohusk-Yahodyn. Among their main demands is the return of permits for Ukrainian truckers, which was canceled under the agreement with the European Union until June 30, 2024. The protesters want the agreement to be terminated and the regime of permits for crossing the border to be restored from January 1.

On November 23, Polish farmers joined the protest and, putting forth their demands, began blocking the traffic of freight transport at the Medyka-Shehyni checkpoint near Przemysl.

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