The European Commission, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), has launched a pre-feasibility study to assess how to better connect the Ukrainian and Moldovan railway networks with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The study is expected to be completed by May 2023.
The rail gauge used in most of the EU is different to the one in Eastern Europe, which makes it difficult to ship goods in both directions. According to the EIB, this could be solved by extending the EU railway gauge across the borders from Poland and Romania into Ukraine and Moldova.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine and Moldova, said that this is the “right step at the right time”.
“Integration of railroad networks will allow for easier and safer movement of people, goods and services between the three markets, and faster integration of the two countries with the EU,” said Teresa Czerwińska. “Finally, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian ports, which induced a global food crisis of unprecedented scale, these new transport links will create a reliable alternative for food supply which will benefit the whole world.”