Meps’ Letter to President Duda and Leaders of the EU Institutions Regarding the Ongoing Polish Lorry Drivers Blockade of Polish-Ukraine Border Crossings:

2023-12-11 | Political initiatives

To: Andrzej Duda
President of the Republic of Poland
Charles Michel
President of the European Council
Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission
Roberta Metsola
President of the European Parliament
Adina Ioana Vălean
European Commissioner for Transport
Thierry Breton
European Commissioner for Internal Market

8 December

Dear President Duda,
Dear President Michel,
Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear President Metsola,
Dear Commissioner Vălean,
Dear Commissioner Breton,

Let us address you regarding the ongoing blockade of road checkpoints on the border between Poland and Ukraine due to a strike of Polish haulers.

As of the morning of 1 December, around 2,100 lorries were queuing to enter Ukraine at the Ukrainian-Polish border. Two Ukrainian truck drivers died while awaiting for several days in the queue.

This blockade is not only detrimental to Ukraine’s economy at the time of war, when the EU is  providing financial assistance to help stabilize it. It has a negative impact on Ukraine’s ability to defend itself effectively against the Russian aggression as military equipment and components needed for its production are transported via this border. It also has a negative impact on the efficient delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid by European volunteers.

We want to draw your attention to several important aspects in relation to this blockade:

Firstly, it must be noted, that another blockade of Ukraine of a similar kind is undertaken by the aggressor state – Russia, which uses military force to block free access to Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea. Ukraine is fighting the Russian invasion and defending the whole of Europe, but at the same time it is facing two blockades from two sides: from Russia and from some EU member states. The ongoing blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border crossings similar to that of Russia against Ukraine and the failure of the Polish government to take measures to end it, is in fact denigrating the people of the whole European Union, including Poland, who are staunch supporters of Ukraine.

Such a situation is completely unacceptable; it serves only the interests of the Kremlin and seriously damages the reputation not only of Poland, but also of the European Union as a whole. As Members of European Parliament, we cannot remain silent bystanders, when the most important European value of solidarity, solidarity with Ukraine, is being damaged.

Secondly,  it was on many occasions confirmed by the international community, including by the UN General Assembly, that the damages inflicted on Ukraine by Russia’s aggression, including economic ones, in particular the losses due to the blockade of the Black sea routs for Ukrainian grain export, will have to be compensated and Russia will be forced to pay the damages. The blockade of the Polish-Ukrainian border is causing undeniable losses to the Ukrainian economy at a time when the country is defending itself and the EU countries against Russian aggression. Initiators, organizers and supporters of the border crossings blockade should know that it will be legitimate that also they will have to compensate to Ukraine the losses caused by the blockade.

Not responding properly to the “Polish” blockade creates a temptation for others to follow such a wrong example. The decision to facilitate border crossings with the EU for Ukrainian lorries was taken at the EU level. It should therefore be an EU-level action to ensure the compliance with the EU decision.

At a time of Russia’s war against Ukraine, no economic arguments of a particular economic sector within the EU should play such a decisive role as to violate the EU-level strategic decisions and united international efforts to help Ukraine win the war, which is also our war.

We therefore appeal to you, the leaders of Poland and the EU, and ask you to immediately address the issue and to act decisively to end the ongoing blockade of Ukraine due to the Polish lorry drivers’ strike.

Members of the European Parliament:
Andrius KUBILIUS, EPP, Lithuania
Nathalie LOISEAU, Renew, France
Juozas OLEKAS, S&D, Lithuania
Viola VON CRAMON-TAUBADEL, Greens/EFA, Germany
Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS, Renew, Lithuania
Heidi HAUTALA, Greens/EFA, Finland
Bernard GUETTA, Renew, France
Isabel WISELER-LIMA, EPP, Luxembourg
Klemen GROŠELJ, Renew, Slovenia
Karin KARLSBRO, Renew, Sweden

Javier NART, Renew, Spain
Michael BLOSS, Greens/EFA, Germany
Liudas MAŽYLIS, EPP, Lithuania
Aušra MALDEIKIENĖ, EPP, Lithuania
Sandra KALNIETE, EPP, Latvia
Vilija BLINKEVIČIŪTĖ, S&D, Lithuania
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO, Non-attached, Italy