Blocking checkpoints on the border with the EU will have a long-term effect
The negative effect of blocking the checkpoints on the border between Ukraine and the EU will be manifested in the coming years due to the disruption of long-term contracts. This was stated by Yulia Klymenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, at a briefing at the Ukraine-Uninform Media Center.
According to her, private carriers estimate the downtime of one truck at about €300 per day. There are also indirect losses for business, such as the inability to predict the delivery time of goods under signed contracts.
According to Klymenko, the Ukrainian side can fulfill some of the protesters’ demands, such as access to the Shlyakh system and the return of empty European trucks without a queue. However, the requirement that cannot be fulfilled is a return to the permit system for Ukrainian carriers.
«Ukraine must insist on this – that this is still the liberalization of freight transportation. This is the main way for us now. If we return the number of permits that we had before the war, which is only about 200 thousand per year, we will actually reduce cargo transportation in Ukraine by three times. Accordingly, three times less goods needed by Ukrainians will be delivered to the country,» Klymenko explained.
The MP also commented on whether the Ukrainian side had taken any action in the face of the threatening trend that is now emerging – in addition to blocking by Polish carriers, there are now also Slovakian carriers. She noted that negotiations are underway at the diplomatic level with both Slovakia and Poland, but this issue should be resolved at the executive level. According to her, European institutions should also intervene with more effective tools, as Ukraine signed an agreement on freight liberalization with the EU.
It is worth noting that according to a quick survey conducted by the European Business Association in November among 55 member companies whose operations were affected by the strike at Polish-Ukrainian border crossing points, an average of one day of downtime costs one company about UAH 1 million in losses.
The Federation of Employers of Ukraine reported that as of November 22 this year, the Ukrainian economy suffered more than €400 million in losses as a result of the protest by Polish carriers. If indirect losses are taken into account, they are likely to be measured in billions of euros.
As GMK Center reported earlier, the blockade of border crossings with Poland threatens the entire economy of Ukraine. Long-term blocking of the border will lead to an increase in the cost of logistics and a decrease in the competitiveness of domestic exports. At the same time, Ukraine can only make limited compromises in terms of meeting the demands of the strikers.