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Two years of Solidarity Lanes have brought the EU, Ukraine and Moldova closer together

22.05.2024 18:25 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Two years ago today, the European Commission, in collaboration with Ukraine and Moldova, created the Solidarity Lanes to help improve the EU-Ukraine-Moldova transport routes in response to Russias illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Initially established to bypass Russias Black Sea blockade of Ukraines grain exports, today the Solidarity Lanes cover trade across all sectors. They allow Ukraine and Moldova to export all types of goods to world markets while also ensuring crucial imports reach Ukraine. Long-term, they will also play a pivotal role in Ukraines reconstruction and further integration into the EU single market.

To date, Solidarity Lanes have helped Ukraine export more than 136 million tonnes of goods, such as grain, ores and steel, and import more than 52 million tonnes of essential merchandises, including fuel, vehicles, fertilisers as well as military and humanitarian assistance. The Solidarity Lanes pass through the Danube region, Poland, the Baltics, and the Adriatic region via rail, road, and inland waterways. These corridors are complementing Ukraines Black Sea corridor set up in the autumn 2023. However, the Danube and Polish-Baltic corridor remain key for all imports while the Adriatic is particularly relevant for Ukraines non-agricultural exports. 

So far, over 2 billion has been mobilised by the Commission and international financial institutions. Over the two years, the Commission has also played a key role in coordinating authorities and transport community in the EU, Ukraine and Moldova as well as in identifying ways to remove administrative and infrastructure bottlenecks and improve efficiency. Key priorities include traffic management, border procedures, and investments in infrastructure and logistics equipment. Large-scale projects include for example, an EU-funded project to improve navigation on the Danube and the Sulina canal towards the Black Sea (’Primus’). Co-funded by the EU, the project was implemented by Romania and benefited from technical assistance from France, with the aim to train river pilots and improve the sharing of information with Ukrainian ports. This cooperation has helped to increase navigation safety and capacity on the Danube.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has been instrumental in funding critical border needs and taking initial steps toward integrating Ukraines and Moldovas transport systems into the EUs TEN-T network. Significant progress has also been made in transitioning to the European standard gauge, contributing to create an interoperable EU railway system.

The European Commission will continue its work on the Solidarity Lanes in the future, in cooperation with all partners concerned.

Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, said: «Two years ago Solidarity Lanes reshaped the logistic routes across Eastern Europe to keep Ukraine and Moldovas economies functioning and to prevent a global food crisis. Until today, they have generated about 50 billion in income for Ukraines economy. At the same time, they are strengthening Ukraines economic ties with the EU, with imports worth around 107 billion to date. The EU invested in transport infrastructure in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova, anchoring the latter two into the EU Single Market and Transport Area. Solidarity Lanes are and will remain a secure option for Ukraine and Moldovas trade with the rest of the world.»

Source: European Commission

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