Polish truckers resume blockade of Ukrainian border crossing

(Reuters) – Polish truckers on Monday resumed their blockade of one of the main crossings at the Ukrainian border, a protest leader said, a week after it was temporarily lifted.

Polish drivers have been blocking several crossings with Ukraine since Nov. 6, demanding that the EU reinstates a system whereby Ukrainian companies need permits to operate in the bloc and the same for European truckers to enter Ukraine.

The protest initially affected three crossings but was then expanded to four.

The blockade at the Jahodyn-Dorohusk border crossing was temporarily lifted after a local mayor took action to stop it because he feared it would threaten local jobs.

However, on Friday, the District Court in Lublin overturned the mayor’s decision prohibiting the gathering of truckers, which means that carriers can start protesting again from Monday, state-run news agency PAP reported.

“Now we are going to let 10 vehicles per hour through,” Tomasz Borkowski, leader of the Committee to Protect Transporters and Transport Employers, told Reuters.

“We gave certain things that the Ukrainian government must do by Wednesday, if they do them then maybe we will suspend the protest and up until that time we agreed that we would let through 10 vehicles per hour.”

He said that if the protesters’ demands were not met they would impose stricter limits on how many vehicles could cross, but declined to say exactly what the number would be.

According to data from Poland’s Customs office, the wait at the Dorohusk crossing was 68 hours on Monday. Ukrainian customs said there were some 2,000 trucks in the queue.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa, Pavel Polityuk and Alan Charlish; Editing by Alison Williams and Ed Osmond)