MINSK, 24 August (BelTA) - Poland and Lithuania continue to contribute to the tense situation on the border, the Belarusian State Border Committee told BelTA.
The committee said that recently some media have published the reports trying to shift responsibility for long queues at road checkpoints onto Belarus. The State Border Committee reiterates that the main reason for the long queues is the failure of the Polish and Lithuanian sides to fulfill the bilateral agreements on traffic clearance. The reports published daily by the State Border Committee indicate that the average daily clearance by the adjacent party, as a rule, does not exceed 50%.
The committee stressed that Belarus can clear as many cars as Poland or Lithuania do. Belarusian border guards cannot let transport vehicles into the checkpoint if a queue has already accumulated on the other side. The situation is exacerbated the irregular operation of border services of the neighboring states. Often they would not clear traffic for an hour, while during the following one would clear as many as possible.
Over the past 24 hours, Polish checkpoint Terespol (Brest on the Belarusian side) did not clear a single vehicle from 01.00 to 02.00. From 05.00 to 06.00, they cleared 29 vehicles. This is not an isolated case. At some hours, the adjacent checkpoint clears five or six vehicles, and in other hours about 35 vehicles. All in all, the Polish checkpoint cleared about 470 vehicles for the past 24 hours. It should be noted that the capacity of the checkpoint is 1,700 vehicles per day. It is such actions of the Polish border services that create long queues at the Belarusian checkpoints.
The burden on the functioning checkpoints has increased following Poland's decision to stop registration of persons and vehicles at most checkpoints. These are Kuznica Bialostocka (Bruzgi on the Belarusian side), Polowce (Peschatka) and Sławatycze (Domachevo). Currently, out of six checkpoints, only three are operational, one of which Kukuryki (Kozlovichi) caters only to trucks. Also, all railway checkpoints and small border traffic checkpoints on the Belarusian-Polish border are still not functioning.
The State Border Committee recalled that the Belarusian side has repeatedly stated its readiness to reopen these checkpoints in order to alleviate the situation on the border. However, the neighboring party has not repsonded to this call.