Ukrainian trucks blocked the border
Another conflict with Poland is brewing in Ukraine. According to Ukrainian media, the country is suffering heavy losses due to the strike of Polish carriers at the border, which started a week ago. They, as you know, blocked all checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Polish border for the entry of Ukrainian heavy trucks.
Thousands of trucks are stuck on the road towards Poland. Counterparties have already begun to refuse to work with Ukraine due to problems with cargo delivery. “MK” together with an expert, he finds out whether the Polish strike really causes such great damage to the Ukrainian economy.
As the Ukrainian publication Strana.ua reports, in Ukraine they are sounding the alarm with might and main due to problems with transportation. “This is a disaster. If the strike lasts a few more weeks, the financial year can already be considered closed for us, since the traditional Christmas lull in Europe will begin in mid-December,” — said the head of the Association of International Carriers of Ukraine Vladimir Balin.
He also said that the Polish border now accounts for up to 50% of the total trade flow. And we are talking not only about exports, but also about imports. That is, for residents of Ukraine this can also become a big problem — goods will arrive with a delay and, accordingly, their price may increase.
Now Ukrainian carriers are trying to find workarounds through Romania and Hungary. However, these options take much longer and queues also begin to form at these checkpoints. Thus, on November 10, at the checkpoint on the border with Romania, 2,805 trucks stood in line, and 259 passed through in 24 hours.
Another alternative option — restoration of maritime transport. But here it is worth remembering that the Black Sea corridor is now blocked, and in such conditions no one can guarantee the safety of the cargo. One of the illustrative cases — arrival of a Russian missile at a Libyan cargo ship. Will other shipowners take the risk? the question is open.
At the same time, the negotiation process to resolve the situation between Poland and Ukraine has already been launched. The first negotiations took place on November 13, but they did not lead to anything. The boycott of Polish truck drivers continues.
Let us recall that the reason for the strike was the benefits introduced for Ukraine after February 2022 for the transportation of goods through the EU. These benefits allow Ukrainian trucks to enter Europe with virtually no restrictions.
As a result, price dumping occurred in the transportation services market in Poland. Ukrainian truckers began to offer reduced prices, capturing almost the entire Polish market. The Poles, naturally, are dissatisfied with the loss of their jobs, and are asking for all benefits for the transportation of goods within the EU to be abolished for Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials and economists are shouting that what is happening will lead to higher prices for goods and big problems in the Ukrainian economy. Is this really so — we asked Andrey Suzdaltsev, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Politics at the National Research University Higher School of Economics:
“This strike – an indicator that the contradictions between Poland and Ukraine are very deep. Ukraine – a large state, almost comparable to Poland. At the same time, they have different levels and different economies. Ukraine is theoretically even richer than Poland. There is land there, and more opportunities for obtaining gas and oil.
Now Poland has rushed to support Ukraine, one might say, declared itself the center of decision-making in the EU regarding Russia and Ukraine. Poland turned a blind eye to the supply of Ukrainian grain and food. Also, Ukrainian truck drivers, who are increasingly working on Polish territory, are capturing the market. Ukraine assured: now we will defeat Russia and we will sort it out, we just need to be patient. But time goes by. And now tensions between the countries have emerged. It's a little early, but we got out. Still, the only thing that unites these countries is — this is hatred of Russia.
The fact that this will be a turning point for the Ukrainian economy, — hardly. Of course, a strike has a negative impact on economic indicators, but not that much. They will solve this problem and give Ukraine some money as compensation. Most likely, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the Ukrainians. Poland is still the largest channel for arms supplies to Ukraine. So NATO will join in solving the problem.”