The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has a project for the construction of a path between the Black and Baltic seas. This was stated by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk in his speech at the sixteenth annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kyiv on September 14, as reported by Deutsche Welle.
Volodymyr Shulmeister, the director of the UIF Infrastructure programme, and Vladislav Talakh, the expert on economic analysis and transport infrastructure of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, spoke on whether Ukraine needs the project, and also what are its main advantages and disadvantages.
The main goal of the project is to connect the Black Sea and Baltic river basins, uniting Poland, Belarus and Ukraine.
Experts see only advantages for Ukraine from the project. The river (river transportation – ed.) will start working. It is also a partial solution to the problems of Ukrzaliznytsia and Avtodor. Cargo transportation, which can be removed from the roads in all civilized countries, is transferred to the railway. And everything that can be removed from the road and railway needs to be transferred to the river. After all, if the river works, the entire transport system of the country works.
Another advantage is that the goods (Belarusian or Polish ones) that will be transported by the river are for the Asian market. These goods are not transported by river vessels. They reach our ports and are reloaded on sea vessels. Thus it means earnings for Ukraine, and not only on the river but also on transit through our port.
Ukraine will benefit from this project because we have fewer alternatives for the use of roads and railways. In Europe, everything is developed. And the biggest potential is in Ukraine, which, in fact, needs to make less investment (Poland should invest 12 billion Euros in the project, and Ukraine – only 32 million Euros).