Ukraine and Moldova to work together on rail reconstruction project
By Mike Hayes07 June 2023
Ukrainian railway company Ukrzaliznytsia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Railway Enterprise of Moldova (Calea Ferată din Moldova), outlining plans for the rehabilitation of 400km of rail lines.
The reconstruction work will facilitate faster train speeds and increased capacity on the important North-South Railway Corridor of the Republic of Moldova.
Perhaps more significantly, the project will aims to strengthen ties between the two countries.
The scope of the project includes the upgrading of track running through Valcineț, Ocnita, Balti, Ungheni, Calarasi, and Calinari, with work set to be completed by the end of 2024.
The initiative has been termed Solidarity Lanes and is being spearheaded by Moldovan railway authorities and supported by the European Commission.
Beyond improving transport links in Moldova, the aim is to develop alternative logistics routes, promote economic growth in Moldova and streamline the transport of goods from Ukraine to the European Union.
The rail corridor will also offer Ukraine access to significant ports on the Black Sea, for the export of goods.
Financial backing for the project will come from external partners on the EU’s eastern border. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Commission have already approved a financial package worth a total of €71 million.
This includes an investment grant of €20 million from the EU and €23 million provided by the EBRD to the Moldovan government. It is reported that additional funds totalling some €28 million will be sourced from other financing channels.