Trade between Poland and Belarus stalls

A few hundred meters from the Koroszczyn terminus, which borders Belarus in eastern Poland, Jaroslaw is not far from the goal. In two hours, he should have completed customs inspections and will eventually reach the other side of the border, in Belarus, where he will drop off his cargo and head back on the road in the other direction. “I’ve been queuing for four days. Before, I passed the Bobrowniki border post. Now it’s twice as long, The Polish truck driver grumbled, jaw pressed against the window. They should close the border once and for all instead of letting us roam around. ยป

After 13 years of driving between Poland and Russia, this forties never expected so much from the border crossing. “Whether we like it or not, we depend on trade. The wallpaper on my truck, it’s going to Moscow”, the Pole argues that he drove to the outskirts of Moscow before the Ukrainian war. Truckers like him are suffering the effects of sanctions imposed on Russian aggressors and their ally Belarus. Since April 2022, the EU has effectively banned road transport companies from both countries from entering its territory, including transit. Belarus responded immediately, forcing European truck drivers to leave their cargo at the country’s entrance.

Furthermore, relations between Warsaw and Minsk are worse than ever. On 8 February, Andrzej Poczobut, a defender of the Polish minority in Belarus, was sentenced to eight years in prison for “inciting hatred”. Two days later, Warsaw closed Bobrowniki, its most important border crossing with Belarus, through which 1.2 million people, including truck drivers and individuals, will cross in 2022. Minsk responded by banning Polish truck drivers from using its border crossings in Lithuania and Latvia.

Also read: Articles reserved for our subscribers The specter of a new humanitarian and migrant crisis on the border of Poland and Belarus

Then, on February 21, Warsaw restricted the entry of heavy goods vehicles into border crossings registered by EFTA member states to prevent vehicles with Kazakh or Uzbek license plates from evading sanctions. Result: Long queues at the Koroszczyn customs terminal, the only one open to cargo. Private cars circulate only at the Terespol border post, a few kilometers away. Pedestrians can still walk through Bialowieza’s forest. As for rail freight, especially getting Chinese containers to the EU, it is not worried.

You still have 58.05% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment