Three weeks ago Poland banned the movement of Russian trucks through our territory. The term of the previous inter-state agreements completed and new documents with the Kremlin as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine because of the aggression of Moscow, the country decided not to sign. As a result, carriers have changed the route of their trucks, sending them to Europe through Ukrainian territory. Almost two weeks Russian trucks plied the Ukrainian regions without barriers and prohibitions from the authorities. The route trucks the aggressor was pretty outraged community activists in the areas through which they drove.
First last week gave an impromptu checkpoint on the highway Kyiv-Chop, the members of the Patriotic organizations of Zakarpattya. Now a perpetual event was supported by Lviv, Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Chernivtsi, Sumy and Odessa. Activists say that the main purpose of blocking is to reach the leadership of the country to be there at the state level has banned the entry of trucks with Russian license plates because «there can be no business with the country-an aggressor, an occupier.» According to participants, the rally is not political but only social.
Supported local activists and the leader of the Crimean Tatars Refat Chubarov. He urged activists of Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to join the action of blocking Russian trucks. «Russia occupied Crimea and started the war in the East of Ukraine, must be completely isolated from the civilized world until, until the last Russian soldier leaves the territory of independent Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, together with the Crimea», — stressed the leader of the Crimean Tatars.
«Under the pressure of the streets» yesterday morning the Cabinet decided to suspend the transit of Russian trucks through territory of Ukraine. The government noted that Russia has violated the rules of the world trade organization and bilateral intergovernmental agreements, when unilaterally stopped the movement of Ukrainian trucks on its territory. The head of government Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Ukrainian party holds consultations with the countries-EU members and turns to the member countries of the EU on the issue of fulfilment by Russia of the basic principles of the WTO. However, despite the official ban of transit activists are not going to disperse, writes Elena Kapnik in the article «Barrier – transit» in the newspaper «Ukraina Moloda».
«Bear» blockade of Russian trucks is already underway in ten regions of Ukraine. First to detain the truck started activists in Volyn, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions, later they were joined Dnepropetrovsk, Zhitomir and other areas. We now have Russian trucks have no chances to enter the territory of the EU — ban of transit for trucks from Russia said Poland.
Among the participants of the blockade — the society of veterans of anti-terrorist operation «Pobratimy of Ukraine», the organization «Carpathian Sich», the soldiers of the battalion «Azov», activists of «Right sector» and others. The main requirement is to prohibit trade activities of Russia in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities are in no hurry to make statements about the blockade. Indirectly reacted with only the Cabinet of Ministers, published today, the decision to suspend the transit of Russian trucks through territory of Ukraine. But while temporary. «The Russian Federation is in violation of the rules and procedures of the world trade organization and bilateral intergovernmental agreements on road transport unilaterally stopped the movement of the Ukrainian cargo transport vehicles on the territory of Russia. Until the receipt of explanations from the Russian side and address this issue, Ukraine will temporarily stop transit cargo vehicles registered in Russia, on the territory of Ukraine», — reads the statement of the Cabinet.
Nikolai Marcisak, the head of the NGO «Pobratimy of Ukraine» in Uzhgorod, one of the coordinators of the all-Ukrainian peace actions of blocking the transit of Russian trucks through territory of Ukraine, is sure that the decision of the Cabinet is, in fact, compromise with the enemy. «The term we give to authorities for a decision on cessation of trade activities of Russia on the territory of Ukraine — up to 18:00 on Tuesday, 16 February, he says. — Otherwise, we will consider the second phase of the blockade, namely the blocking of entry to Ukraine and transit of trucks from the European Union. In any case, the blockade will continue until a complete ban of the transit of Russian trucks through Ukraine».
Director of information-analytical center «Perspective» Pavel Rudyakov believes that the Cabinet had to react to the situation with the blockade, and therefore took this decision. Thus it kills two birds with one stone: shows the willingness for radical action against the aggressor, that is the opinion of activists who are actually afraid and unable to cope with them.
«But whatever the motivation, the decision to suspend the transit of Russian trucks was irresponsible. No one thought it would hit in the first place on our carriers who travel through the territory of Russia. It is unlikely that the embargo will somehow affect Russian-Ukrainian relations. They are now so strained that the blockade is a trifle, during the dialogue between the countries, no one will pay attention,» — said Rudiakov.
In turn, the economist Andrei Blinov assumes that carriers are now going to look for an alternative: or to transship goods at the border in trucks with numbers of the country for which transit is permitted, or to use rail transport.
In his opinion, a negative for the economy consequences will not the blockade, and the continued reduction of mutual trade in Eastern Europe. «The Russian-Ukrainian trade war has moved into the next stage. I think this will lead to the forced re-branding of Russian goods in Ukraine, as it has already happened, for example, with MTS, which is in Ukraine now operates under the brand name Vodafone. Such examples will become more and more,» Blinov says. This writes Tamara Balayeva in the article «Bearish» blockade. Why Russian trucks are stuck in Ukraine» in the publication «Focus».
It would seem that with the new year Ukraine and Russia already broke most of the economic ties and trade turnover between our countries has fallen to historic lows. Wherever it was possible, the parties imposed a trade embargo. But Kiev and Moscow did find weak points in each other and banned the transit of heavy vehicles in the territory of the two countries. Since yesterday the Ukrainian truck can’t go through Russia, and Russia — via Ukraine.
Russian carriers are not able to get into Europe across the territory from the Baltic to the Black seas. Now not to me, neither Ukraine nor Poland. Therefore, the main cargo flow goes through a ferry service in the Baltic sea.
«Of course, the volume of ferry transportations is not enough to offset the entire volume of transportations of the Russian goods in the EU, says transport expert Alexander Kava. – Therefore, if the blockade will last, the Russian suppliers will have to change the logistics. They will increase flow through railway transport, and also begin to use the sea route from Novorossiysk to the Romanian and Bulgarian ports. As for Ukraine, our carriers will have problems with delivery of goods to the countries of Scandinavia and Central Asia. Most from the embargo will suffer Moldova – it is here in Ukraine has delivered a large number of Russian goods».
Formally, almost nothing to lose. After all, under international law, for the transit through its territory of the country don’t charge you. Loss largely will be from private carriers and exporters on both sides.
«The senders will be forced to pay penalties, — said Alexander Kava. – In addition, if you have to change the logistics, it will lead to higher prices of goods and thus reduce their competitiveness in foreign markets. For example, through the territory of Russia the Ukrainian transit volume is about 1.5 billion dollars. As for the transit of Russian products through Ukraine, and until recently he was small. Only after the prohibition of passage through Poland Russian trucks went through Ukraine».
By the way, nobody forbids European carriers (except the Polish) to carry Russian goods across Ukraine. Or carriers from Central Asian countries to deliver goods from Ukraine. But this automatically means that instead of Ukrainian and Russian companies will start to earn their competitors.
Experts believe that direct official pressure on Poland and Ukraine from Brussels will be there.
«There may be some contacts via diplomatic channels, but public pressure will not, — said the expert. – Moreover, Poland is a EU country. But it is this blockade has its own objectives, filling his worth before the government of Germany. The poles decide a number of issues within the EU that Ukraine do not have any relationship.»
To assume what will happen next, is difficult. If the parties are a rage, then perhaps the following will be closed and the last that links the two countries by the railway. Moreover, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has already said about a possible «ban the movement in Russia of all types of transport of Ukraine». This writes Andrew Gazenko in the article «the Expert told about the consequences of the transit of war» in the newspaper «KP in Ukraine».
16 February. Press review. «Bear» blockade 16.02.2016