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Russian and Belarusian trucks stuck at Polish border as EU ban deadline nears


Hours before a ban on their vehicles comes into effect, Russian and Belarusian truck drivers were stuck in a long queue near the Kukuryk-Kozlovichi border crossing in Poland on Saturday (April 16).

Drone footage captured a long line of freight trucks backed up on the road from Poland into Belarus.

"There are still many kilometres to drive... so it’s unrealistic," said Dmitry, a truck driver from Belarus on his chances of crossing the border in time.

"I don’t know how long it will take. We’re moving forward but very slowly," he added.

European Union countries sharing borders with Russia and Belarus have barred some cargo vehicles registered in the two countries from entering since Friday (April 8) due to sanctions, the Russian customs service said on Saturday (April 9).

Vehicles used as international transport that have Russian and Belarusian number plates will not be able to move goods on EU territory, the Russian customs service said.

Russian and Belarusian trucks were given time until the end of Saturday (April 16) to exit the bloc's territory. Due to the trucks being backed up for kilometres, thousands of vehicles are at risk of not crossing the border in time.

Unsure of how the sanctions coming into force will affect him, Dmitry said: "We are not alone here, there are (drivers from) Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, standing in the queue. And we can’t say how it will turn out."

Belarus on Friday (April 15) announced a ban on trucks registered in the European Union from entering its territory, Interfax news agency quoted the transport ministry saying.

Published : April 17, 2022

By : Reuters