Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction Oleksandr Kubrakov’s comments on Monday, where he said bus passengers were “being held without any explanation” on the Polish border, as reported by Kyiv Post. Polish police denied the claims at the time.

Now, however, both Polish and Ukrainian authorities have denied earlier claims that Polish protestors, working with local police, obstructed passengers on buses en route to Poland.

“It’s not true; nothing like that is happening. We, the police, are absolutely not checking humanitarian, military, or medical aid or buses with people. They pass through smoothly,” said a spokesperson for the Polish police, as reported by Polish news outlet TVP World.

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Serhii Tsaruk, Ukraine’s Consulate General in Lublin, visited the Dorohusk-Yahodin checkpoint following Kubrakov’s claims and met with protestors and police, where he said he had “emphasized the inadmissibility of any delays in the movement of passenger buses.”

However, Tsaruk said no buses were being held up during his visit.

“Traffic slowdowns may be caused by technical reasons related to the passage of other vehicles through the corridor of protestors. In such cases, buses can wait up to half an hour,” he said on Facebook.

Andrii Demchenko, spokesperson for Ukraine's State Border Guard Service, also told Ukrainska Pravda that no such incidents had been recorded on the border, though the current protest did make it more difficult to cross the border.

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“Ukraine's State Border Guard Service received no information from Poland indicating that protesters in Poland were restricting or blocking bus traffic. What we record at our checkpoints: buses that have been registered go to Poland and are accepted by the adjacent side, as well as buses that arrive from Poland in Ukraine.

“I cannot provide a complete assessment of what is going on in Poland. I hope Polish protesters do not obstruct bus traffic, but given their location on roads leading to and from the border, it is possible that buses will have difficulty passing through these blocked areas,” Demchenko said.

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Petro Beluha, head of one of Ukraine’s bus carrier groups, also told Kyiv Post earlier that he was unaware of any such incidents, though admitted the current protests have complicated the journey from Ukraine to Poland.

“It’s a problem. When farmers start blocking the highways. Our drivers were forced to use regional roads,” said Beluha.

A Kyiv Post report on Feb. 21 covered a similar incident, where Polish farmers stopped a passenger bus and allegedly detained an Israeli citizen onboard, with verbal abuse in multiple languages audible in the background.

The farmers’ protest – which led to border blockades between Ukraine and Poland – began in November last year and escalated in February, where protestors said Ukrainian agricultural imports have been undercutting local prices, though it is likely that a number of issues other than finance are at play behind the current crisis.

A recent Kyiv Post Op-Ed covered the developments in detail.

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