The profile ministries of Ukraine and Lithuania have agreed to launch a pilot project to develop multimodal transportation between the countries, according to the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on Thursday.
In Klaipeda, Lithuania, a meeting was held between Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Marius Skuodis, during which the parties discussed issues of strengthening cooperation and prospects for new projects.
“Partnership in the field of transport is one of the priorities. We are restoring a dialogue on the implementation of an old idea – connecting the Baltic and Black Sea regions by rail. For both countries this is a chance to optimize logistics, increase the load on seaports and enter new world markets. We have already agreed to launch a pilot project, within the framework of which we will develop multimodal traffic between countries, including by increasing the flow of semi-trailers,” Kubrakov is quoted as saying.
He also noted the relevance of the resumption of the passenger railway route “four capitals” from Kyiv to Riga.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, there are currently large cargo flows between the Baltic and Black Sea regions, but the share of cargo moving from Ukraine is very low. At Klaipeda seaport, Ukrainian cargo accounts for only about 1-2% of all cargo. At the same time, according to the estimates of the Lithuanian side, the flow of goods from Ukraine could potentially be 10 times higher.
“For the implementation of multimodal cargo transportation by sea and rail, road semi-trailers will also be used as intermodal transport units. To make this possible, the ministry will initiate amendments to Ukrainian legislation, which will allow semi-trailers to be classified as cargo, and not as a vehicle,” the report said.
The launch of the pilot project is planned for September this year.
The successful implementation of the agreement, as noted in the Ministry of Infrastructure, has the potential to make Klaipeda seaport in Lithuania the northern gateway of Ukraine to Scandinavia and at the same time Odesa – the southern sea gate of Lithuania to the Black Sea region.