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Daghestani lorry drivers ‘may end strike’

28 April 2017
Lorry drivers protest in Daghestan (Aida Mirmaksumova/ OC Media)

Protesting lorry drivers in Daghestan are expecting to meet today with deputies of the Russian Duma. According to the protesters, the outcome of the meeting will determine whether or not the strike continues.

Abdurashid Samadov, a participant of the strike, informed OC Media that the majority of the protesters had asked to meet with the parliamentarians.

‘Three MPs agreed to meet us here, to see the drivers with their own eyes, to hear us. We plan to introduce our demands once again. We already know that the authorities of the republic can not abolish the [Platon road tax], but we have other demands related to customs transit and transportation of goods on Russian routes’, Samadov said.

The Russia-wide strike of lorry drivers against the Platon road tax began on 26 March. Initially, about 3,000 drivers took part in in Daghestan. However after two weeks, the number began to decline, as a number of employees of larger logistics companies returned to work. Most self-employed drivers are still on strike.

‘Let’s see what the MPs tell us. We are ready to stop the strike if we are satisfied with today’s meeting. Each striker will decide for themselves after the meeting whether to stay or go. Although, given that Platon has not been canceled, and how much money we have to spend on each route, I don’t think we have any reason to go to work’, Samadov told us.

The biggest strike of Daghestani lorry drivers is on the federal Kavkaz Motorway, just outside the village of Manas in the Kayakent District of the republic, 30 km South of Makhachkala.

There are still around 300 heavy lorries in a carpark there, with participants continuing the demonstration in shifts.

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[See a timeline of lorry drivers’ protest in Daghestan]

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