Truckers told about the queues at the Lithuanian customs: they are ready to fight

For weeks, drivers who have been idle are pissed off by those who cheat out of line

War is war, and transportation is on schedule. While the whole world is looking towards the Donbass, there is a tragedy on the border of Belarus and the Baltic states. The transport collapse continues there: on federal highways, there is a many-kilometer traffic jam of several hundred trucks carrying goods to European countries. Drivers literally live in the cabs of cars without food or water. To ensure the simplest necessities of life, one has to seriously contrive – to go for provisions several kilometers to the nearest villages, not to turn off the truck engine so as not to freeze in the cold, and to wash with technical water from canisters. Tragedy also could not be avoided – in early February, Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote about the death of one of the truckers, poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Photo: Frame from video

Due to problems with refugees, back in early November, Poland closed the Kuznya Belostokskaya checkpoint, and Lithuania suddenly began upgrading equipment at its customs checkpoints, after which their throughput slowed down several times. Now you have to wait 15-20 days to cross the border. There is a serious problem with traffic at the checkpoints Berestovitsa, Raigardas, Kuznya Bialystokskaya, Privalka, Benyakoni, Kamenny log and others. There is a website on the Internet where you can check online the workload of any customs post on the border with Lithuania. The image from the cameras is updated every few minutes.

A simple cargo truck can turn into serious supply problems for the Kaliningrad region, where a significant part of the trucks are sent from Russia with a wide variety of goods – from food and essentials to fuel and household appliances. Business suffers huge losses. Meanwhile, tired of waiting for action from the authorities, drivers are now trying to solve the problem on their own, independently regulate traffic on the road and prevent those who, bypassing the queue, reach the checkpoint in a roundabout way. Many use this dishonest method out of desperation, they believe that it is possible to wait in an honest queue at the border for more than a month

“People who want to get ahead of everyone is a common problem in our community. – tells “Moskovsky Komsomolets” a truck driver from Russia with a long experience in international transportation. – At “Ivangorod” (Checkpoint on the border of Russia and Estonia) the same situation, they forge documents and go without a queue. We've been standing here since Tuesday because of them. Computers at the border do not work, everything is done manually.”

– Documents are made not by the driver, but by the sender. And they are smart as hell, they all want to cheat the system. They do this – they put several pallets of perishable products in the refrigerator next to the usual cargo, and voila – you are already transporting an urgent cargo that risks spoiling if you are not let through the fastest. And the law is not violated, and the sender of the goods will deliver the goods as soon as possible. It is difficult to forge documents for customs, they show the originals, but the queues of drivers can show a fake if asked.

– Poles have this practice, but not very common. In Latvia, a fine of 200 euros is issued for avoiding the queue, but for this you need to call the police. And so, where possible, they also go by. Each has its own shirt closer to the body. There is a known case among truckers when at the Shumilkino checkpoint the driver was driving around the line, they decided to slow him down, a conflict ensued, a fight. The result is that two people will not come home: one to the cemetery, the other to prison.

– The queue is now about 8 kilometers. And the mess on the road is solved elementarily. The mayor of the city or the head of the locality gives a place for parking, a private trader or the mayor's office builds it. Parking is paid, exit to the border by numbers. All conditions – a hotel with a shower, a cafe, shops. Everything gives a profit and pays off, and nature is good. The roadside is clean and no one goes to the toilet in the forest. There is only one condition – the queue numbers should be issued by the border guards, since they are service people, and the most non-corrupt of all departments.

– You will starve a couple of times and stock “homeless packages” (I mean instant noodles) it will pass for black caviar, so we live …

Living in the cab of a truck for weeks – what's it like? Add to this the frost on the street, and the situation will already resemble a kind of torture. The living compartment in an ordinary European heavy truck is not designed for such extreme conditions and does not impress with special amenities – a place for the driver and passenger, as well as a small sleeping compartment in the rear of the cab, that's all. The owners of American trucks are more fortunate – the residential part there already resembles a small room, but overseas monsters are rare guests on our roads. Even performing simple life functions becomes a difficult task for people. For example, you have to go to the toilet in the nearest forest, where the snow is knee-deep, and get food and water in the nearest villages 5-6 kilometers from the road. You have to wash with cold technical water from canisters. Not surprisingly, the patience of many drivers is coming to an end. Some of them, unable to stand it, abandon their cars with loads right on the road and leave for a while to their families in order to return when the situation improves. But those who work not for the company, but for themselves, are not at all lucky. Here it is not the employer who suffers direct losses, but the driver himself. And no one will reimburse him.

Drivers in chat rooms and communities of truckers do not believe in an accidental failure of the Lithuanian system. They think that this is how the Baltic states are responsible to Alexander Lukashenko for the situation with migrants at the border, as well as for joint military exercises with Russia. This was partially recognized by representatives of the Lithuanian Customs Department. In the meantime, a red alert level has been declared in Belarus for the coming days. The west of the country will be covered by winds up to 108 km/h, with rain and snow, which means that the unfortunate truckers will face another, this time weather, danger.


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