U.S. to Help Ukraine Improve Links With Europe

Written by Nebraska Digital, administrator
(Photo Credit: USAID)

(Photo Credit: USAID)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest $225 million in a railway upgrade connecting Lviv with the Trans European Network for Transport (TEN-T).

Ukraine’s connection with the TEN-T is set for an upgrade as United States’ foreign aid body USAID has agreed to invest $225 million in the 46.6-mile (75-kilometer) line between Lviv and Mostyska, under a memorandum of understanding signed on Nov. 24.

The line would connect the planned Lviv logistics hub with important Polish cities such as Kraków and Katowice as well as the rest of the TEN-T. The line will be dual 1435-1520 mm gauge. However, further details on the precise railway upgrade work are scarce, including when it will start or be completed.

The new line is expected to enable Ukraine to boost its annual grain exports by an estimated $500 million per year, according to USAID. It will also bypass Black Sea shipping, disrupted by Russia’s invasion, and reduce Ukraine’s need for other types of foreign aid.

“The signing of the memorandum with USAID will have a tangible impact on the recovery of the Ukrainian economy and will contribute to European integration processes in general,” Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction Oleksandr Kubrakov said. “It is also important that this track will be used not only for freight, but also for passenger transport in the direction of EU countries.”

Plans to integrate Ukraine into the TEN-T were launched in 2018 and given new momentum following Russia’s full-scale invasion. Last year, the European Commission (EC) proposed extending four TEN-T corridors to Ukraine and Moldova, and together with bordering EU countries, the EC established “Solidarity Lanes” to help exports and imports to and from the country. Bureaucracy and transshipping between track gauges, however, have created bottlenecks at border crossings. 

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