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Chance to seal Ukraine's railway link deal: Polish official

03.06.2023 09:03
Poland and Ukraine have agreed to bring railway gauges in western Ukraine into line with European standards, according to officials.
RailwayLennart Preiss

An agreement between railway operators in Poland and Ukraine will be signed in June. "It will enable the extension of the European standard of tracks into western Ukraine and further on to Kyiv", Jadwiga Emilewicz, the top Polish official in charge of economic cooperation with Ukraine said.

"The main goal is to eliminate an infrastructure bottleneck in transport", Emilewicz told the Reuters news agency.

"The wider rail gauge used in Ukraine has been a major logistical impediment to the transit of its grain through neighboring European Union countries after Russia blocked Black Sea ports following its invasion last year", news outlets reported.  

"The grain crisis has made it clear that Poland is a logistics hub. Hence, the first large project should involve new border crossings and extending the European railway gauge into Ukraine (...) I think an agreement between Polish and Ukrainian companies will be signed this month", Emilewicz said.

Rail transport is a key part of Ukraine's economy. The country wants to change its tracks gauge to match the European standard in the near future. The European Union last year launched a preliminary study on extending the European 1435 millimeter-gauge standard to Ukraine and Moldova.

Emilewicz also said, "Poland wants its export credit agency to provide insurance to Polish businesses investing and signing contracts in war-torn Ukraine and will create an investment fund to support the expansion of small Polish businesses in Ukraine".

Rebuilding Ukraine's economy is expected to cost $411 billion, a most recent study by the World Bank, United Nations, European Commission, and Ukraine found, the Reuters news agency reported.


Source: Reuters