Supporting Ukrainian exports and improving connections to the EU: EU strengthens cooperation with Ukraine and Moldova

(Source: EEAS)

Road transport agreements to secure supply chains were signed by Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean, French Minister Delegate in charge of Territorial Communities Christophe Béchu on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ukrainian Minister for Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, and Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Andrei Spînu. The agreements will help ensure food security, following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine and its blockage of traditional transport routes. Minister Kubrakov and Commissioner Vălean also signed an understanding on updating Ukraine’s indicative TEN-T network to improve infrastructure connections between Ukraine and EU. The signatures took place during the Connecting Europe Days in Lyon, France.

Commissioner Vălean said: ”These two agreements are another example of the concrete ways through which the EU supports Ukraine. We are partly liberalising road transport for Ukrainian and Moldovan hauliers in the EU to keeping up export flows and ensuring that Ukraine can import the goods it needs. They will also provide relief to Moldova, which has lost essential transport routes through Ukraine for its own exports, and whose economy has been heavily impacted by the war in Ukraine. We have also taken steps to tie Ukraine closer to the EU in terms of infrastructure, which will help guide the reconstruction effort once Ukraine has fended off Russia’s war of aggression.”

In peacetime, Ukraine exported 5 million tonnes of grain per month. Following  Russia’s barbaric aggression against Ukraine and its naval blockade of the Black Sea ports, other modes of transport are now being deployed to facilitate the export of Ukrainian agricultural produce, as well as bilateral trade with the EU. The European Commission’s Solidarity Lanes Action Plan has mobilised national administrations, rail, road and waterborne transport operators, EU ports and many other stakeholders, with this objective.

The road transport agreements will contribute to these efforts, by making it easier to transport goods between the EU and Ukraine and Moldova by road, allowing Ukrainian, Moldovan and EU hauliers to transit through and operate between each other’s territories, without the need for permits for these operations. The agreement between the EU and Ukraine also provides for the recognition of Ukrainian driving licences and certificates of professional competence.

Now that a high-level understanding on Ukraine’s indicative trans-European transport network has been signed, the updated TEN-T maps will be included in EU legislation. Both Ukraine and the EU want to promote adequate planning and the development of sustainable and resource-efficient transport connectivity between the two sides. The understanding will make it easier to identify common infrastructure priorities and, in the long term, will guide the reconstruction of infrastructure once that becomes possible.

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