Freight transport between Russia and Poland may soon cease, warned the Russian Ministry of Transport on Thursday, January 28th. The agreement that allows each country to transport cargo through the other ends on February 1, 2016, and a new agreement has not yet been reached.
According to the website of the Ministry of Transport, Poland doesn't agree with the new Russian requirements which are aimed at strengthening state control over freight transportation and also increases the penalty for its violation, as explained in a letter by the Polish Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Construction, Jerzy Schmidt, to the Transport Ministry received on January 27th. The Russian agency, in turn, said that the changes were made to improve the control of transportation permits and make the competition in this sector more transparent.
Representatives of the parties held two rounds of negotiations in an attempt to settle the issue: in December 2015 in Poland and in January 2016 in Russia. The Ministry of Transport said that the meetings didn't produce any results, and later Poland was asked to temporarily extend all transportation permits until February 15th.
The Polish Ministry of Transport, in turn, argues that Russia intends to administratively restrict the transportation of goods by foreign companies, as reported by the RBC news agency, citing the press service of the Polish authorities. According to Jerzy Schmitt, Moscow seeks to ensure that there are no foreign companies on the Russian market. The statement by the Polish Ministry of Transport also says that there have been problems with the agreement with Russia and that cargo transportation between the two countries was not functioning from January 16 to February 2, 2011.