Ukraine to take part in the creation of new transport corridor from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea

Ukraine joined the Polish initiative on the creation of an international transport corridor through the Carpathians from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea, which will allow for the strengthening of cooperation with the countries of the Middle East, the website of the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction said, as reported by UNIAN.

According to the statement, a declaration on the construction of an international transport corridor from north to south Europe with a branch towards Ukraine and Belarus, known as Via Carpathia, was signed on the 3rd of March in Warsaw.

“The important element of this declaration is the addition of Ukraine and Turkey to the cooperative agreement for Via Carpathia and the expansion of the initiative by countries that aren’t members of the European Union. It will provide an opportunity to strengthen cooperation within the Eastern partnership and allow improved economic relations with Middle Eastern countries,” the statement said.

It was also reported that the representatives of the Ministries of Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey Slovakia, and Poland took part in the meeting on the implementation of the transport corridor project. The statement notes that the strengthening of cooperation between the countries through which the corridor will pass, will allow them to attract funding from the Pan-European funds.

The press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine stressed that the objective behind the creation of the Via Carpathia corridor was to unite the Eastern European countries who became EU members in 2010. However, today, the extension of the corridor with branches to Ukraine is relevant.

“The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has accepted the invitation to take part in the project because it coincides with the interests of Ukraine on development of the transport infrastructure in the western part of the country within the context of the integration of the transport system of Ukraine into the Trans-European transport network. It is noteworthy that the Minister of Infrastructure and Development of Poland stressed the importance of Ukraine’s participation in the creation of a modern transport system,” the press service noted.

It was also reported that the tripartite consultations between Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland took place within the above mentioned event. The parties have discussed the issues on building cooperation within the field of road transport. In late 2015, Poland reported its intention to build the S-19 highway, which is part of the Pan-European route of Via Carpathia.

The S-19 highway will start near the Lithuanian corridor (Budzisko), and pass through Suwalki, Bialystok, Lublin, Rzeszów (Poland) and will end on the border of Slovakia (Barvinek). The Via Carpatia route will unite the territory of seven countries (Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece).

The main route extends from Klaipėda to Thessaloniki through Košice, Debrecen, Timișoara and Sofia. The construction of two branches, one towards the port town of Constanța in Bulgaria and one to the Turkish border is expected. The first cargo train was launched from Ukraine to China along the route of the Great Silk Road, bypassing Russia on the 15th of January.

The bypass route through Georgia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan was developed in response to the actions of the Russian Federation that banned the transit of Ukrainian goods through Russia as part of the general policy on the protection of the Russian market, which was adopted by the Kremlin in response to the Agreement on the Free Trade Zone between Ukraine and the European Union, which became effective on January 1, 2016. In late February, Poland reported its intention to join the development of the New Silk Road, bypassing Russia.

  Russia, Ukraine