European Commission and EIB initiate feasibility study to better connect Ukrainian and Moldovan railway networks with EU
Today, the Commission together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) is launching 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 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. This could be solved by extending the EU railway gauge across the borders from Poland and Romania into Ukraine and Moldova. Today’s study is a key step in preparing for better EU–Ukraine and Moldova connectivity after the war.
The EIB technical advisory service JASPERS is in charge of completing the study by May 2023, in close cooperation with all countries concerned.
European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The study is one of the medium- to long-term measures set out in the Solidarity Lanes action plan and is also closely linked to the Commission’s July 2022 proposal on the extension of the TEN-T to Ukraine and Moldova. This way we are setting the scene for longer-term solutions, supporting Ukraine in its post-war trade and the reconstruction of the country, aiming, in particular, to remove the interoperability gap at borders”.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine and Moldova, said: “The EIB study on integration of Ukrainian and Moldovan railway networks with the EU is the first step towards a modern transport link between the EU, Moldova and Ukraine. It is a strategic investment for sustainable, green economic growth, which also improves global food security. 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. Finally, with the 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. All this makes the EIB study on integration of EU, Moldovan and Ukraine railroad networks the right step in the right time. I am very proud of the fact that the EIB and Team Europe continue to contribute to solutions which make the world a better and safer place.”