Slovakia’s border crossing with Ukraine was blocked on Tuesday, as reported by the police and the media, although the Slovakian truckers’ union distanced itself from the action, alleging that it was carried out by only one truck. The Slovak truckers are showing support for their Polish counterparts in their efforts to secure a limit on the number of Ukrainian trucks entering the EU. Last week, they staged a brief symbolic blockade of the main border crossing to demonstrate this support, but stated that they would wait for negotiations before taking further action.
Truckers from Ukraine have been exempted from permits to cross the border since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Polish and Slovak carriers warn that this exemption is affecting their business. Miloslav Tokar from the Slovak border police confirmed that the truckers blocked the border crossing, the only one between the two countries for heavy vehicles, at noon and were only allowing a limited number of Ukrainian trucks to cross.
The Slovak News Agency TASR reported that a truck blocked the Vysna Nemecka crossing on Tuesday, citing the Slovak transport union UNAS. Union president Stanislav Skala explained that the union would wait for talks by EU, Polish and Ukrainian officials before officially joining the blockades of their Polish colleagues. Ukrainian customs announced on Telegram that “unknown persons blocked cargo traffic without any warning”, while also adding that Ukraine had not received any official information from the Slovak side.
They further stated that the Slovak side would start releasing trucks at 8 p.m., allowing five per hour. Ukraine and Poland discussed blockades on the border last week but without making any progress. Ukrainian authorities announced on Sunday that about 3,000 mostly Ukrainian trucks, including trucks with fuel and humanitarian aid, were stuck on the Polish side of the border.