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Economist: The Shehyni-Medyka border post

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Aug. 17, 2012 10:36
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Border guards checking the cars
Photo by ww.pvu.gov.ua

OUR correspondent crossed from Ukraine into Poland by foot at the busy Shehyni-Medyka border post, which is one of the crossings of the European Union's eastern border since the EU's enlargement in 2004. The pedestrian route is a recent addition, as is the live footage monitoring the state of the border. The queue mainly consists of Ukrainians, plus two German backpackers, and a Pole returning from a wedding.

Ahead in the line, a woman exclaims in Ukrainian: “If you’re pushing, you should have crossed by taxi or aeroplane. None of us are heading for a holiday resort, you know!”

With their bulky bags, many of the travelers are involved in "cross-border trade", making short trips to Poland to sell modest (and not so modest) quantities of cigarettes and alcohol. A few years ago, a Kyiv-based group of artists called R.E.P. made a statement by smuggling across gas in brightly-coloured balloons and oil in hot water bottles. 

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