Poland Closes Freight Traffic with Belarus

Poland completely closes freight traffic with Belarus

On Tuesday, Poland announced the closure of the last remaining border crossing for goods with Belarus, in response to the blockage of Polish trucks travelling to Latvia and Lithuania. Minister of the Interior Mariusz Kaminski stated that if Belarusian authorities impose restrictions on Polish carriers, Poland would respond in kind.

The closure of the Kukuryki-Kozłowicze crossing will affect truck and vehicle traffic, though cars and pedestrians will still be allowed through. According to the Border Guard, waiting time for private vehicles was around 53 hours on Tuesday, but delays could reach up to 67 hours. This has caused protests from carriers whose vehicles are trapped on either side of the border, with an estimated 2,000 trucks stuck at customs. Belarusian trucks currently in Poland must return to their country through Lithuania and Latvia.

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The measure follows the closure of the Bobrowniki border point on February 10, in response to the imprisonment of Andrzej Poczobut, a journalist of Polish origin, by the Aleksander Lukashenko regime. Tensions between Poland and Belarus have been high since Poland accused Lukashenko of being behind the 2021-2022 migration crisis, prompting the construction of a guarded wall along 180 kilometers of the border.

Since then, a large number of political exiles from the Lukashenko regime have taken refuge in Poland, with more than 50,000 currently residing there. The closure of the Kukuryki-Kozłowicze crossing marks yet another step in the strained relations between the two countries.

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