According to Andrei Suzdaltsev, associate professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics, if the Polish authorities do so, “the transit of goods in the region will not change significantly”, because the role of cars in freight transport is less than that of rail or river transport. He also recalled that the sanctions have already considerably limited trade between Russia and Belarus, on the one hand, and Western countries, on the other. It is mainly local transport that will be affected, he believes.
There are six crossings between Poland and Belarus: three passengers, one cargo and two cargo-passengers. Now only Brest (passenger) and Kozlovichi (cargo) work.
The potential decision to close border crossings must be considered in two dimensions, Georgy Vlastopulo, CEO of Optimalog, partner of the ACEX logistics alliance in Moscow, is sure: “The first is the freight transport corridor between the EU and business in Russia. and Belarus. Critically, after the imposition of sanctions, they partially reoriented themselves towards the supply of goods through the Baltic countries. If transit through Poland is closed, they will redirect the rest of the goods to the Baltic countries. According to him, changing the transport routes of goods can add 2-5 days to the transit of goods between the EU and Russia. It is therefore unlikely that the logistics costs will increase much – the expert believes.
“Another aspect – companies from third countries, for example in Kazakhstan, will also suffer from Poland’s unilateral decision, which could lead to a number of difficulties or even retaliatory measures from these countries in relation to Warsaw,” said Vlastopulo.
He believes that the possible decision of the Polish authorities will not have serious economic consequences. Sanctions restrictions, in particular mutual bans between EU countries on the one hand and Russia and Belarus on the other, have already severely affected transport companies. “Now, of course, it will be even worse – first of all, for Belarusian companies, which are still largely engaged in the maintenance of this car transport corridor. Russian and Polish companies will suffer to a lesser extent, and the businesses in the Baltic countries will benefit,” he added.
From an economic point of view, the adoption of such decisions is always a blow to the economy on both sides, and this case is no exception, reminds Olga Panina, head of the Department of State Administration and municipal at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation. “Not only Belarus, but also Poland will suffer. It will also affect a number of European Union countries that previously transported goods through this corridor,” she is sure. “There will be a reduction in trade between countries. Companies and carriers will suffer losses, and many people employed in logistics will lose their jobs. She also authorized temporary interruptions in the delivery of certain types of goods. In his opinion, carriers still have a way out – to look for alternative routes. The expert suggested that transit could be carried out along a longer route – through Lithuania. Panina concluded: “Additional kilometers represent increased costs affecting all supply chains. Ultimately, consumers will suffer.”
As Suzdaltsev noted, the closure of border crossing points will be a response to the visa-free regime for Poles introduced by Belarus in July 2022. “Basically, Poles who wanted to buy cheap Belarusian goods used it This created additional demand for them,” the expert said.
For latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and also on Twitter.
Click here to show your support.