Several dozen owners of transport companies blocked three large Polish border points with Ukraine in token of protest against unfair competition by the enterprises from the neighboring country, reported AFP.
The trucks lined up at the border checkpoint in Dorohuskwith almost all freight traffic blocked by protesters, who blamed the liberalization of European Union rules for the drop in their revenues.
“We want the rules of fair competition to be restored,” said Rafal Meckler, co-organizer of the protest.
After Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, The EU canceled the permit system for Ukrainian transport companies to enter the block.
According to the Polish companies, this move caused Ukrainian competitors to enter the sector, which reduced their profits.
“Their costs for servicing a truck, hiring a driver or just starting a company or paying social security are much lower,” says Marek Oklinski, owner of a transport company.
“They lower the prices and they take the cargo that we were transporting,” adds Oklinski.
The protesters organized similar blockades at the checkpoints in Hreben and Korchova, promising to allow passenger traffic as well as transport with humanitarian or military aid.
Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland said Warsaw could not meet the protesting companies’ demands by restoring the licensing scheme for Ukrainian carriers, citing EU rules.
“The agreement was reached by the EU… therefore, in practice, Poland cannot restore the permit system with Ukraineuntil the aforementioned agreement expires,” the ministry said, calling on protesters to end the blockades.