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EU transport commissioner says truck blockade at Polish-Ukrainian border ‘unacceptable’

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Ukraine and the European Union cannot be “taken hostage” by Polish truckers blockading the Polish-Ukrainian border in protest at competition from Ukrainian hauliers, the European Commissioner for Transport said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The round-the-clock blockade in Medyka and three other border crossings, which started on Monday, extends a protest that has left over a thousand lorries stranded for days in queues that stretch for miles.

Transport commissioner Adina Valean said the situation was “unacceptable.”

Polish truckers complain they are losing out to Ukrainian companies which offer cheaper prices for their services and which are transporting goods within the EU, rather than just between the bloc and Ukraine.

“There is no good faith in finding a solution… and there is nearly a complete lack of involvement from Polish authorities… who are supposed to enforce the law at that border,” Valean said.

“While I support the people’s right to protest, the entire EU, not to mention Ukraine, a country currently at war, cannot be taken hostage by blocking our external borders.”

The Commission reserves its right to intervene in ensuring rules are respected and the law applied, she added.

Polish truckers started their protest on November 6, demanding that the European Union reintroduce a permit system for Ukrainian truckers entering the bloc and for EU truckers entering Ukraine, with exemptions for humanitarian aid and military supplies. The permits were scrapped after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.