Ukraine hopes ‘unacceptable’ Polish border blockade will end


KYIV, UKRAINE-Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday told his Polish counterpart that Kyiv hoped an “unacceptable” blockade by Polish hauliers at their shared border would end soon.

The truckers have been blocking the border for over a month to demand the reintroduction of restrictions to enter the European Union for their Ukrainian competitors.

The bloc had waived the permit system after Russia invaded Ukraine, but the Polish road carriers say the move took a toll on their earnings.

“The first thing to do is to unblock the border, because the situation in which our friendly relations find themselves — in the shadow of the blocked border — is unacceptable and harmful,” Kuleba told his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski. The Polish foreign minister came to Kyiv on his first trip abroad since taking office, a move signalling the new Polish government’s renewed support.

Kuleba praised the visit as a “sign of respect to Ukraine.” Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies since Russia invaded.

Relations soured ahead of Polish general elections in October, as the then-governing Law and Justice (PiS) party had lobbied for votes by leveraging fatigue over the conflict.

But Poland’s new pro-EU government led by former European Council president Donald Tusk has pledged to double down on support for Ukraine and resolve the blockade.

“There is a feeling, an understanding that with this new Polish government and specifically (minister) Sikorski… there will be a very fruitful dialogue between Ukraine and Poland,” Kuleba said.__The Nation