At present, Lithuanian ports have significant unused potential

Ukrainian Railways (UZ) is looking for opportunities to expand railway corridors to Baltic ports. About this stated Chairman of the board of UZ Evgeny Lyashchenko during a meeting with representatives of the Lithuanian Railways.

At present, Lithuanian ports have significant unused potential. The organization of a competitive alternative route for the delivery of Ukrainian agricultural products and rolled metal to Baltic seaports, as well as for the import of energy carriers to Ukraine can become a promising long-term strategy.

«This is a rather complex and long-term project, because it is necessary to decide on the tariff and infrastructure components of this direction. In terms of cost, it should become competitive in comparison with the direction to the ports of Poland. At the first stage, it is necessary to obtain from the EU a subsidy for the difference in the tariff and to implement a number of infrastructure improvements to increase its carrying capacity, first of all, this is the construction of points for rearranging trolleys, because on the route we are forced to change wheel pairs twice according to the width of the tracks. In Ukraine and Lithuania, it is 1,520, and in Poland – 1,435,» Yevhen Lyashchenko comments.

In addition, there is a need to transfer the function of control, in particular phytosanitary, to the destination of the cargo. It will also facilitate safe and fast transit.

«If it is possible to implement the first stage and interest customers in regular transportation through the port of Klaipeda, then the next step may be the development of rail connections between Ukraine and the Baltic ports within the framework of the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes European initiative. This will make it possible to implement a «green corridor» for cargo from Ukraine to the Baltic ports, as well as to establish an additional strategic route to overcome the food crisis and ensure the energy security of Europe and Ukraine,» he added.

According to the chairman of the board of the UZ, a plan for the implementation of railway projects together with the countries of the European Union is already being developed. In particular, UZ started work on solving the above-mentioned problems in June of this year. For the first time in history, the EU allocated funds to Ukraine for the implementation of railway projects for the development and construction of the most promising border crossings.

We will remind, in May 2023, Ukrainian Railways and Lithuanian railway workers agreed on the implementation of the joint project «FREE Rail operational model”. As part of the project, the parties plan to form a single, fully independent system of railway operation on the 1520 mm network in terms of technical standards, IT systems, regulations or any kind of certification of the Railway Transport Council.