Ukrainians protest outside Polish Parliament over border blockade

On Wednesday 6 December, Ukrainian hauliers and volunteers gathered outside the building of the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish Parliament) for a protest against the blocking of the border by Polish hauliers and farmers.

Source: European Pravda, citing the news agency Ukrinform

Details: The protesters unfurled posters outside the Polish Parliament with slogans such as "Don’t block Ukraine," "Poles and Ukrainians, we’re quarrelling, and Russia’s using that", "Stop the blockade on the borders!", "We’re at war! We’re not competitors!" and "Together we are stronger!"

The protesters had signed a letter addressed to Szymon Hołownia, the Marshal of the Sejm, which they delivered to the Sejm's office, demanding a swift resolution of the border blockade issue, which is detrimental to the interests of both Poland and Ukraine.

Quote from Viktoriia Trifan, co-organiser of the protest and founder of the Ukraine-EU Trade Club: "We have a huge request to the Polish Sejm: that at the next commissions, at their next meetings, Polish lawmakers should consider, as their first priority, an issue that threatens people’s lives and health, namely the hauliers. That's first.

This is also about countering Russian propaganda, which in our opinion – in the opinion of Ukrainian migrants in Poland – is very active, and it is provoking all these protests. They [the Polish protesters] have information they can build on."

Trifan believes the Polish government should strengthen its opposition to Russian influence.

The Ukrainian protesters’ third request is to maximise the development of ties between Poland and Ukraine, particularly economic ties.

The protest outside the Polish parliament building was coordinated by the Ukraine-EU Trade Club, the Association of International Road Hauliers of Ukraine, and the public organisation International Road Hauliers of Ukraine.

Background: 

  • The Polish hauliers’ blockade has been going on since 6 November, their key demand being to bring back the permit system for Ukrainian hauliers.

  • Charities and non-governmental organisations that supply military aid to the Armed Forces of Ukraine have faced several weeks of delays in delivering critical supplies of drones, electronics and pickup trucks due to the protests by Polish hauliers.

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