On Tuesday, Slovakia blocked its border crossing with Ukraine, according to police and media reports. However, the Slovakian truckers’ union distanced itself from the blockade, stating that it was carried out by only one truck. Slovak truckers are supporting their Polish counterparts who are trying to limit the number of Ukrainian trucks entering the EU. Last week, they staged a brief symbolic blockade of the main border crossing to show their support, but said they would wait for negotiations before taking further steps.
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 is harming their business. Miloslav Tokar of the Slovak border police stated that the truckers blocked the border crossing 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 told Reuters by phone that the union would wait for talks by EU, Polish, and Ukrainian officials before officially joining any blockades of Polish colleagues.
Ukrainian customs announced on Telegram that “unknown persons blocked cargo traffic without any warning.” However, they also added that Ukraine had not received any official information from the Slovak side regarding this incident. They said that as of 8 p.m., five Ukrainian trucks per hour would be released from detention on the Slovak side of the border. It is reported that last week Ukrainian authorities announced about 3000 mostly Ukrainian trucks stuck on Polish side due to restrictions imposed by Poland and Slovakia which caused significant economic losses for both countries and disrupted supply chains in Europe