Ukraine Bans Russian Freight Trucks

Ukraine Bans Russian Freight Trucks

After nearly a week of trade disputes, the two nations are caught in a standstill with hundreds of cargo trucks stranded.

Ukraine imposed a ban on Russian freight trucks from entering the country on February 15, after a week of trade disputes.

The Ukrainian government has put a temporary ban on all road haulage transport from Russia crossing its borders on February 15, after nearly a week of haulage disputes between the two countries.

Ukraine accuses Russia of violating the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and an agreement between the two governments on international road transport by banning Ukrainian freight trucks from entering Russian territory since February 13. Ukraine said the ban would remain in place until they received an explanation from Russia.

Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said: “Until a relevant explanation is obtained and the dispute is settled, Ukraine temporarily terminates the validity of transit permits issued for cargo vehicles registered in the Russian Federation, which entails a temporary suspension of the transit of goods by freight motor vehicles from the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine. We demand Russia to stick to the WTO requirements and restore transit traffic for Ukrainian motor vehicles.”

Yatsenyuk also said that he had initiated talks with EU member states to help resolve the problem.

The standoff has left hundreds of trucks stranded on both sides of the border and threatens to harm the international trade of both countries; Ukraine will have difficultly trading in Central Asia and Russia with the EU. Since February 1, Ukraine has been Russia’s only land route to Central and Western Europe, after Russia failed to extend a previous transit agreement with Poland.

This incident comes just weeks after Turkey banned Russian haulage trucks during a dispute after the NATO nation shot down a Russian fighter jet that violated its airspace.

Ukrainian Nationalist Protest
Russia justified the ban of Ukraine haulage as a response to a protest by Ukrainian nationalists which prevented Russian freight trucks from getting to the Russian boarder on February 12 and said the ban will remain until the illegal blockade by anti-Russian protesters has been resolved.

The Russian Ministry of Transport said that over 100 Russian trucks were stopped in Ukrainian territory to prevent them entering the EU and more than 500 trucks heading from Western Europe to Russia were denied access to Ukraine over February 11 and 12. At this time over 1000 Ukrainian trucks were allowed passage through Russia, they say.

This protest was confirmed by the Ukrainian online paper, Ukrainska Pravda, who said activists from groups like Karpatska Sych and the Right Sector were protesting a Russian decision to ban tractor-trailer freight from Ukraine.

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