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Ukraine

Russia, Ukraine Give Banned Truckers Period To Return Home

Ukraine's Blockade Leaves Borders Clogged With Russian Trucksi
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February 16, 2016
Activists in the southern Ukrainian region of Bukovyna have been blocking Russian trucks from crossing the border for days. The Ukrainian government made a Russian truck ban nationwide on February 15, saying it was in response to Moscow's ban on Ukrainian trucks a day earlier. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
WATCH: Ukraine's Blockade Leaves Borders Clogged With Russian Trucks

Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement to allow long-haul trucks a grace period to return home after forbidding transits by each others' freight haulers.

Over 600 Ukraine-registered trucks that are currently on Russian territory will now be allowed to leave, and approximately 600 Russia-registered trucks will be allowed to exit Ukraine before the borders are closed again, Ukraine's Transport Ministry said. The grace period will last through February 25.

Russian cargo haulers are having an increasingly difficult time reaching Europe. Moscow's transit agreement with Poland -- another key mainland route to the EU -- lapsed at the beginning of February and Russia-registered cargo trucks are no longer allowed to enter Poland.

Until this problem is resolved, many Russian truckers have been switching to Belarusian vehicles so they can continue their trek through Poland, the Transport Ministry said.

Russia's Transport Ministry closed its borders to Ukrainian trucks on February 16 after Ukraine announced that Russian trucks would not be allowed to enter Ukraine.

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv have soured since Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. The tit-for-tat ban on truck transits follows similar bans on food sales between the two countries.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax

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