Ukraine and Lithuania have agreed to develop a railway route between the Black Sea and Baltic regions
This is stated in the message of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on Facebook.
The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov and the Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Marius Skuodis met in the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda. The ministers discussed issues of strengthening cooperation and prospects for new projects.
“Lithuania is one of Ukraine’s main strategic partners, including our Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Partnership in the field of transport is one of the priorities. We are resuming dialogue on the implementation of an old idea – the railway connection of the Baltic and Black Sea regions. For both countries, this is a chance to optimize logistics, increase the load on seaports and enter new world markets. We have already agreed with the Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications to launch a pilot project in which we will develop multimodal transportation between the countries, including by increasing the flow of semi-trailers. Also at the time of restoration of the passenger route “4 capitals”, from Kiev to Riga, – Kubrakov told.
Currently, there are large freight flows between the Baltic and Black Sea regions, but the share of goods moving from Ukraine is very low. In the port of Klaipeda, Ukrainian cargo accounts for only about 1-2% of all cargo. According to the Lithuanian side, the flow of goods from Ukraine could potentially be 10 times higher, informs Railway Supply magazine with reference to censor.net.
For the implementation of multimodal freight transport by sea and rail, automobile semi-trailers will be used as intermodal transport units. To make this possible, the Ministry is initiating changes in legislation that will allow semi-trailers to be classified as cargo rather than as a vehicle.
The pilot project is scheduled to launch in September this year. The successful implementation of the agreement has the potential to make the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania the northern gate of Ukraine for access to Scandinavia, at the same time Odessa – the southern sea gate of Lithuania to the Black Sea region.