Lithuania and Ukraine to Advance Transport Cooperation
Kyiv, November 22, 2011. The transport ministries of Lithuania and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding today. The document stipulates further cooperation between the two countries in the field of infrastructure and transport. Lithuania and Ukraine plan to expand the use of the ninth Pan-European corridor and increase cargo traffic between the Baltic and the Black Seas, according to the Memorandum.
Lithuania and Ukraine intend to employ container train Viking to intensify the traffic of goods between the two countries. The partners will expand the geography of the use of Viking and invite new countries to the project. This will help heighten the efficiency of cargo transporting.
Container train Viking is a combined train that carries containers and railcars, as well as semitrailers and contrailers. The commercial advantage of the train is the possibility for its containers to be transported by railway and ferry. Viking is a joint project of the Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian railways, seaport cargo companies, along with Klaipėda, Ilyitchovsk, and Odessa seaports.
The Memorandum reflects the agreement of both sides to contribute to the improvement of the transporting system of the ninth Pan-European corridor. The passageway is one of the ten transport corridors currently existing in Europe. Established in 1994, the routes connect the regions of Central and Eastern Europe.
The ninth Pan-European corridor connects Helsinki (Finland), several cities in Russia, including St. Petersburg, Gomel in Belarus, Kyiv (Ukraine), Ljubashevka (Ukraine), Chişinău (Moldova), Bucharest (Romania), Dimitrovgrad (Bulgaria), and Alexandroupolis (Greece). The route has three branches, two of which go through the territory of Lithuania. The corridor is 3,400 km (2,113 mi) long.
The Memorandum, signed by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, also stipulates the introduction of unified requirements for crossing the borders and customs processing, as well as faster checkup of the containers.
The President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė came to Ukraine with an official visit and met with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Both country officials attended the signing of the Memorandum and agreed on the priorities of bilateral, as well as regional cooperation, deepening of trade cooperation and cornerstones of the Roadmap for the Development of the Strategic Partnership between Lithuania and Ukraine for 2011-2012.