Monday, February 15, 2016

Russian Ukrainian Relations Cause Disruption of Road Haulage Freight

Trucks Turned Back at Borders
Shipping News Feature
UKRAINE – RUSSIA – The Ukrainian Government has temporarily blocked Russian road freight transport from entering its territory, in response to Russia’s decision to ban Ukrainian cargo trucks from its borders after Ukrainian nationalists had apparently stopped Russian road haulage operators from reaching Belarus. Relations between the two countries have been strained to say the least following Russia’ annexation of Crimea in 2014, with both countries imposing many restrictions in trade on the other.

In this latest spat, Ukraine accuses Russia of violating the rules and procedures of the World Trade Organization and the bilateral intergovernmental agreement on international road transport. Ukraine says that until relevant explanations from the Russian side are obtained, these temporarily introduced retaliatory measures will stay in place. 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.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk added that the country had initiated consultations with the European Union (EU) member states and appeals to the EU to facilitate settlement of this problem.

According to the Russian Ministry of Transport, over 100 Russian trucks carrying goods to the EU were blocked in different Ukrainian regions, while 500 others returning from the EU had been denied entry to Ukraine. In the meantime it is claimed that 1,038 Ukrainian trucks were admitted to Russia between February 11-12 alone. The Ministry in a statement said that these measures will remain in force until the situation with the illegal blockade Russian lorries faced in Ukrainian territory is settled.