Polish lorry drivers block border with Ukraine

For the last three weeks, Polish lorry drivers have been protesting at border crossings between Poland and Ukraine for better working conditions and against cheaper Ukrainian competition. The queues forming as a result of the blockade are now several kilometres long. Commentators on both sides of the border ask whether the protesters’ anger is justified.

Censor.net (UA) /

All about the money

The protests say nothing about the EU’s attitude towards Ukraine, investment banker Serhiy Fursa comments on Censor.net:

“Certain Polish drivers are blocking the border with Ukraine, creating problems for Ukrainian companies. ... But this in no way reflects the general attitude of Poland or the EU or EU citizens towards Ukraine. This is simply a fight for money by a certain group of people who are defending their own economic interests. ... We will see many more episodes of this series. Right now it’s the episode about transport companies that want to maintain their level of income. And of course they don’t want competition from Ukraine.”

Serhij Fursa
Polityka (PL) /

A serious problem is being ignored

The PiS is leaving the problem to its successors, Polityka rails:

“The protest, which was initially of an economic nature, is increasingly becoming a political issue. Also in Brussels, where the European Commission expects Poland to clear the border. The Ukrainians are making no secret of their indignation and see the blockaders as the Kremlin’s fifth column. Especially since the anti-Ukrainian party Konfederacja is using the lorry drivers’ protest for its own purposes. ... We are facing an increasingly serious conflict that is being practically ignored by the PiS government. It has decided to leave the problems at the border to its successors. ... It claims that EU policy is to blame for everything and that is that.”

Cezary Kowanda
Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

There must be a way to settle this

Rzeczpospolita is confident that an amicable solution is possible:

“The protesters are demanding better traffic management, for example for Polish lorries returning empty from Ukraine to be allowed to pass through without having to queue. And also the reintroduction of transport permits for Ukrainians, in other words a restriction on the activities of their competitors within the EU. ... This has led to huge back-ups at the Polish-Ukrainian border crossings, which, it must be said, could be brought under control with a little goodwill on both sides. At the German-Polish border on the opposite side, freight traffic was five times higher before Poland joined the EU.”

Krzysztof Adam Kowalczyk