Polish truckers protesting at the Ukrainian border are not blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid, according to the national tax authority, which dispelled the accusations from leading Ukrainian politicians.
Polish truck drivers have been protesting at the Ukrainian border against what they believe is unfair competition by Ukrainian companies. Blocking roads to three border crossings with Ukraine drew criticism from Kyiv and Brussels.
Ukrainian Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhiy Derkach, who visited the border crossing in Dorohutsk last weekend, accused the protesting truckers of hampering the delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“If the protesters wanted to cause an energy crisis in Ukraine, they are succeeding,” he told a press briefing, mentioning tank trucks allegedly waiting in line on the Polish side and Ukrainian drivers freezing at the border due to the protest.
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadowy, was even harsher, referring to Poland’s position as one of the key contributors of support to Ukraine, especially in the first months of the Russian war.
“Your entire gigantic contribution to Ukraine’s victory in this war is being wiped out by a group of marginalists who are blocking deliveries of humanitarian goods to a country that has been defending its independence and the security of Europe for a second year,” he wrote on the X platform on Saturday, calling the protest a “shameful blockade”.
“We received no signals nor complaints about truckers’ protests blocking humanitarian aid shipments,” Marzena Siemieniuk from the National Revenue Administration (KAS) in Lublin, Central Poland, told Wirtualna Polska news outlet.
Another thing is that there are much fewer loads registered as humanitarian aid than in the first months of the war.
As a piece of evidence, she provided the data from the border crossing in Dorohutsk for the previous 24 hours. One hundred four trucks were cleared there, five of which had the status of humanitarian aid. Most carried food and fuel.
Between 23 and 26 November, 33 humanitarian transports passed the crossing. For comparison, between 3 and 6 November, when the protest was starting, 24 humanitarian deliveries crossed the border in that place.
The leaders of the truckers’ protests, Rafał Mekler and Piotr Krzyżankiewicz, responded to the statements by Ukrainian officials, explaining that Ukrainian truckers have established their own queue system a few kilometres from the border.
The truckers said they regulate the movement by themselves and decide which Ukrainian trucks can go to the border point.
Since the beginning of the protest, its participants declared they would allow humanitarian aid and military deliveries to pass the border.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)
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