On Friday, January 15, Ukraine launched a pilot container train to China
via a new Silk Road bypassing Russia, which will significantly increase the
volume of cargos to Asia.
The trial train departed from Illichivsk port running
across Ukraine - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Kazakhstan - China route(through the
Caspian Sea and Black Sea) – via the new direction of "Silk road". It
includes ferries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (Illichivsk
- Batumi and Alat - Aktau
Port). The container train consists of 20 wagons and will deliver cargo from Ilichivsk to Dostyk (China)
within 11-12 days.
The new route is an alternative that would allow redirecting cargo flows
in the eastern direction bypassing the territory of the Russian Federation,
which completely stopped transit of any goods originating from Ukraine through
its territory, regardless of the country of final destination.
The day before, on January 14, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and
Ukraine signed a protocol on the establishment of feed-in tariffs for cargos
via the Trans-Caspian international
transport route. The document provides for comprehensive measures to
facilitate the movement of trains on the route and increase the cargo turnover.
The volume of transportation of goods between
Ukraine and the People's Republic of China in 2015 made up 25.48 million tons, which
is 2.25 million tons or 11% more than in 2014. This is a record figure for the
last 10 years. Today China ranks the first place in export traffic from
Ukraine, relegating Russia to the second position (from the first position over
the last 5 years) - 15.9 million tons.