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Ukrainian ministry holds urgent talks with Poland as Polish protesters block passenger traffic at border

Monday, 19 February 2024, 10:23
Ukrainian ministry holds urgent talks with Poland as Polish protesters block passenger traffic at border
Photo: Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for the Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, has held an urgent meeting with Head of the Polish National Security Bureau Jacek Siewiera to discuss the blockade of passenger traffic across the Polish-Ukrainian border by Polish protesters.

Source: Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine

Details: "Blocking the border is a direct threat to the security of a country that is trying to defend itself. These actions negatively affect our ability to resist our mutual enemy, Russia. Women and children who sought refuge from the war and are now, for various reasons, coming back home cannot be held hostage as [political pawns]," Kubrakov said.

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He said that events like this, and the inhumane treatment of Ukrainians as a whole at the EU border, could be seized upon by Russian special services to stir up an artificial conflict between Poland and Ukraine.

"We are expecting our Polish colleagues to implement concrete measures to prevent these situations from happening and to address this issue," Kubrakov said.

Serhiy Derkach, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, maintains close contact with Polish Deputy Infrastructure Minister Pawel Gancarz. Derkach said that the situation at the Ukrainian-Polish border is growing ever more critical despite the suspension of the blockade by Polish hauliers.

Six border checkpoints are currently blocked by Polish protesters. The situation at the Yahodyn – Dorohusk checkpoint is currently the most critical, where all freight traffic has been suspended, including humanitarian and perishable cargoes and fuel tankers.

Empty lorries travelling to pick up critical supplies are also being prevented from leaving Ukraine.

"Ukraine’s embassy in Poland is in touch with the Polish police and border service 24/7 and is immediately responding to reports about attempts to block passenger traffic," the Ukrainian ministry stressed.

The Yahodyn – Dorohusk, Dołhobyczów – Uhryniv, Zosyn – Ustyluh, Shehyni – Medyka, Hrebenne – Rava-Ruska and Krakovets – Korczowa checkpoints are currently being picketed by protesters seeking to block freight traffic. Around 3,000 lorries are currently waiting in Poland to enter Ukraine.

Background:

  • Polish farmers attempted to block the movement of freight trains at the Dorohusk – Yahodyn international railway crossing point on 18 February.
  • A video shared on social media showed Polish protesters blocking passenger buses.

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