The volume of container transportation by Viking combined transport train in January 2020 increased 21% compared with January 2019, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has said in a statement. Ukraine and Lithuania are organizing container transportation by the Lithuania-Belarus-Ukraine Containerships train.
“Today, cooperation between Ukraine and Lithuania in the field of transport infrastructure is developing in an upward direction, including in the field of international freight transportation by rail. The Viking train and the Containerships Train are important international logistics projects, the successful implementation of which opens up prospects for attracting additional freight flows for both countries,” Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Krykliy said during a meeting in Poland at Europe of the Carpathians International Conference held on February 21-22.
The ministry said that Lithuania is a strategically important partner of Ukraine for updating the national infrastructure and realizing the transit potential in the Black Sea-Baltic Sea traffic.
Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Jaroslav Narkevič, in turn, noted the importance of further successful cooperation in the field of transport infrastructure for Ukrainian-Lithuanian economic relations and reiterated the desire to develop and deepen bilateral relations.
In addition, the ministers of both countries discussed the state and prospects of development of Ukrainian-Lithuanian cooperation in the field of infrastructure and joint participation in international logistics projects.
“The parties are determined in every way to help remove barriers in international road transport. At the first stage, the issue of exchanging multiple transit permission is being worked out,” the Ukrainian ministry said in the statement.
The Viking combined transport train route passes through Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania and connects the chain of container and piggyback lines in the Baltic region with a similar system of the Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. The total length of its route is 1,753 km.
Ukraine and Lithuania signed several documents, including a declaration on strategic partnership development for 2020-2024, following a session of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania chaired by Volodymyr Zelensky and Gitanas Nauseda. “This is a joint declaration on the development of strategic partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania, which contains the priorities of the bilateral dialogue for 2020-2024. Therefore, we can confidently say that the partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania will be even stronger,” Zelensky said at a meeting with the media on November 27.
The declaration will become a kind of road map for the development of Ukrainian-Lithuanian relations at the level of strategic partnership. Its provisions will form the basis of possible further steps by the countries in the context of cooperation on a range of issues of bilateral, regional and international agenda, reads a statement on the presidential website.
The joint statement also envisages a series of joint actions by Ukraine and Lithuania in international and regional security, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, economy, social policy, trade and investment development, scientific cooperation, cooperation in cultural and humanitarian fields.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva and Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Asta Skaisgiryte signed the Protocol of the Twelfth Session of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania, which reflects the main agreements reached during this event.
The Protocol also strongly condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including the temporary illegal occupation of Crimea and parts of Ukraine’s sovereign territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The document also notes the active cooperation of the two countries and the strong support for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations aimed to gain full membership in the EU and NATO.
Deputy Prime Minister, Digital Transformation Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov and Energy Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Zygimantas Vaiciunas signed a Declaration of Intent for Mutual Recognition of Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions between the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania. Among other things, the document contains an agreement on the parties’ intention to unite efforts to remove existing barriers to the cross-border use of trust services and cross-border e-contracts, e-bills and other similar solutions.
In addition, Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Zahorodniuk and Minister of National Defense of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis signed a Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in Cyber Security between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania. The document provides for a series of measures aimed at developing cooperation in order to ensure appropriate response in the event of large-scale national or international cyber incidents. The parties also expressed their intention to establish common points of single contact for the exchange of information on cyber threats and attacks, and to develop a joint training plan.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expects growth in trade with Lithuania and encourages Lithuanian businesses to invest in Ukraine. “We expect that our bilateral trade in goods and services will exceed last year’s record and reach almost $1.5 billion,” he said at a briefing in Vilnius after a meeting with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. Zelensky noted that Lithuanian companies are not leaving the Ukrainian market, and they also continue to develop investment projects. As an example, he cited the opening of the second Lithuanian solar power station in Ivano-Frankivsk region on November 27.
Zelensky and Nauseda took part in the fifth Ukrainian-Lithuanian Economic Forum.
“We respect every investor who already works in our country. This applies to everyone, regardless of business: from restaurants to the green energy sector. We will not take rash steps that would worsen the business environment,” the president of Ukraine said, speaking at the forum.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will pay an official visit to the Republic of Estonia on November 26, and the Republic of Lithuania on November 27.
“During the visit, negotiations are scheduled between the head of state and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, as well as meetings with President of the Riigikogu (parliament) Henn Põlluaas and Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas,” the press service of the president of Ukraine said.
Also in Tallinn, the presidents of Ukraine and Estonia will take part in the Digital Forum.
During his visit to Lithuania, Zelensky will take part in the twelfth meeting of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania.
“During the visit, it is planned to hold separate negotiations between the head of state and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis and Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis,” it said.
Also in Vilnius, the presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania will take part in the Fifth Bilateral Economic Forum.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochytsky has discussed at a meeting with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis the organizational aspects of the preparation of the International Ukraine Reform Conference, as well as current issues of Ukraine-EU cooperation.
“On October 10, Ukraine’s representative to the EU Mykola Tochytsky met with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis, who is preparing the International Ukraine Reform Conference, which is scheduled to be held in Vilnius in 2020,” the press service of the Ukrainian mission in the European Union said.
Degutis emphasized the priority of the Conference, which is considered in Vilnius as part of the overall strategy to support the reform process in Ukraine.
In turn, Tochytsky thanked Degutis for the consistent support of Lithuania to Ukraine both at the bilateral level and within the EU, especially in the context of confronting Russian aggression and introducing systemic reforms in the state.
Ukrzaliznytsia jointly with Belarusian and Lithuanian railways has launched the Containerships Train new regular container train running across Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
Ukrzaliznytsia Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov wrote on his Facebook page that the train will run between Draugyste (Lithuania) and Brovary (Ukraine) twice a week.
“Last year can be called a “container boom” in Ukrzaliznytsia. The Containerships Train is our 22nd container train running in Ukraine. Competitive delivery speed regardless of weather conditions, regular trips, the understandable schedule. Add to this the decrease in logistics costs on average by 25%. The benefits are undeniable,” he said.
The head of Ukrzaliznytsia said that as part of the first Containerships Train with 65 containers will arrive at the Brovary station in 50 hours. The company plans to organize container transportation to the Odesa seaport.
“Draugyste is located near the port of Klaipeda. So this autumn we are planning another route – to the Odesa seaport. Considering the reorientation of domestic exports to the EU countries and the increase in cargoes addressed to seaports, container shipping will be useful,” Kravtsov said.