WARSAW: Poland’s government said Wednesday it would conduct “stepped-up checks” of Ukrainian trucks on roads leading to the border in an effort to placate protesting Polish hauliers.
“These will be comprehensive inspections aimed at checking… all transport regulations that apply to Ukrainian carriers,” Polish Infrastructure Minister Alvin Gajadhur said after meeting the truckers.
According to Gajadhur, the hauliers said they would consider easing their protest were the technical and documentation inspections of the vehicles to “bring results”.
Polish truckers have been blocking the major crossings with neighbouring Ukraine for over three weeks now over what they call unfair competition from their Ukrainian counterparts.
Their demands include reinstating permits for the Ukrainian trucks to enter the European Union, scrapped by the bloc following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Warsaw and Kyiv have been engaged in talks with the EU but the negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute.
On Wednesday, Gajadhur said meeting the hauliers’ demands lies “within the competence of the Ukrainian and EU sides”, adding that Poland will raise the matter at next week’s EU meeting of transport ministers.
Gajadhur said Poland wanted the discussion to be about “changes to the agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on road transport, which will allow for better protection of the interests of the EU road transport industry.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission – EU’s executive arm – condemned Poland’s “nearly complete lack of involvement” in trying to end trucker protests.
“I find the situation at the Polish border with Ukraine absolutely unacceptable,” EU transport commissioner Adina Valean said.