The major focus in the development of cooperation between Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus is the development of inland navigation along the Prypiat and Dnipro rivers, in particular in the framework of the implementation of the E-40 project. Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklii announced, today, October 3, 2019, at a briefing following the bilateral meeting with the Minister of Transport and Communications of Belarus Aleksei Avramenko. The meeting was held in Zhytomyr within the framework of the Second Forum of the Regions of Ukraine and Belarus.
The parties noted that concerns extended cooperation between countries in the field of transport. Ukraine is taking active steps to ensure the maximum development on the Dnipro River. In 2019, dredging works have been launched to maintain the depths of the Dnipro River, works have been completed in the Kamiansky and Kremenchuk Reservoirs (450 thousand m³), the repair of floodgates of the Dnipro Cascade is underway (in 2019, the sum worth UAH 163 million has been allocated from the budget, which exceed fourfold the showing of 2018). One of the priority areas of cooperation is the provision of conditions for the transit of goods by water via the territory of Ukraine.
Also within the framework of the Forum the E-40 Waterway Project was discussed during a round table discussion “The development of inland navigation along the Dnipro and the Prypiat Rivers”. The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Kryklii noted that, according to expert estimates, the restoration of the E-40 waterway will allow to transport an additional 4 million tons of cargo annually: “The E-40 waterway will provide considerable time savings for transport operators in the Central and Eastern Europe. Participation in the European initiative to restore the E-40 waterway is one of the topmost priority tasks for the development of inland transport and logistics in general”, said the Minister of Infrastructure.
Vladyslav Kryklii noted that the development of the E-40 inland communication is one of the priorities of the President of Ukraine, the Prime Minister and the Government: “We have a shared goal and every chance to change the geopolitical situation and realize the infrastructure potential, which is through improper regulation, through the absence of the infrastructure transport corridor has recently failed to be implemented. We believe that both sides will benefit from that."
The Minister of Infrastructure stressed that a feasibility study would be conducted on the Ukrainian side and environmental issues would be studied. "One of our priorities is to develop inland waterway connection. We understand that the best results will be achieved if the inland communication works in three countries - Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. Then we will be able to provide communication between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea and the situation in transport routes will change dramatically. But, nevertheless, we will already develop transport links so that both countries can import and export cargo."
In his turn, Aleksei Avramenko noted that the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Belarus had signed an investment agreement with on the construction of a port in Nyzhnia Zhora: "Today we have had a discussion about how we will advance in the issue of maintenance of riverbed depth of the Dnipro River along the territory of Ukraine which is critical for the Republic of Belarus and for the further development of water transport. I believe that the steps we have planned will be implemented in the near future, and we will give considerable momentum in the development of transport services and trade turnover between our countries."
Ukraine cooperates with the European Commission and international organizations on inland waterway development and harmonization of legislation. The Minister of Infrastructure stressed that key foreign partners support the reform of inland waterway transport in Ukraine and look forward to the adoption of a sectoral law implementing a number of EU directives under the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU: "In September 2019, there has been registered in the Verkhovna Rada a bill that shall become the foundation for the development of inland navigation on the rivers of Ukraine", the Minister said.
Vladyslav Kryklii also noted that during the meeting the parties had discussed and agreed on the timetable for further steps in other sectors of transport, determined clear priorities and set deadlines.