As the migrant crisis continues at Belarusian border with Poland, a sharp increase in the number of trucks at Lithuania border checkpoints on the part of Belarus, and hauliers admit that drivers have to wait up to several days there.
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According to Henrika Rukšēniene, a representative of the Lithuanian Customs Department, told the news agency BNS, it is believed that trucks that cannot enter European Union through some Poland checkpoints, which are closed to traffic, go to Raigards – the nearest point on the Lithuanian border, where congestion is caused. Long queues have formed in other Lithuanian checkpoints as well.
More than 500 trucks were waiting to enter Lithuania at the Raigard checkpoint on Tuesday afternoon, about 710 in Šalčininkai and 630 in Medininkai.
Vits Klimavičs, a representative of the road transport company “Komlita”, said that the line of cars at Raigards point stretches for 11 kilometers and almost does not move forward. According to him, there has been no such line since the company started operations.
“Two of our cars got stuck there. On Friday, one of them was less than five kilometers to the border, yesterday 160 meters a day, but yesterday around 11 o’clock the first car managed to cross the Lithuanian border, and it spent a total of eight days in a row. “The car has only recently arrived – if it continues, it will not cross the border this week,” said the businessman. “Drivers are angry, it’s not pleasant to even call them. I understand how they feel when they spend so long in the car and don’t move anywhere – but they can’t even wash, go to the toilet or eat normally.”
Zenon Buivids, Secretary General of the Lithuanian National Road Transport Association “Linava”, also admitted that the situation is not normal.
“We are constantly working with carriers. The situation is unenviable. Many drivers are choosing other border crossings, but there are no special choices,” he said, adding that long queues could also appeal to consumers.
According to the Lithuanian Customs Department, 209 trucks have entered Lithuania through the Raigard checkpoint during the day and this is fully in line with the capacity of this point, while there is no special queue on the Lithuanian side to Belarus.
The Customs Department advises drivers to choose other border crossing points.