Von der Leyen: Ukraine’s Solidarity Lanes are almost at full capacity
The European Commission (EC) is going to unlock an emergency fund for 250 million euros to boost the Ukrainian Solidarity Lanes in the short term. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC, pointed out that Solidarity Lanes are reaching their capacity limits, with bottlenecks persisting and high logistics costs.
Moreover, the Connecting Europe Facility will be mobilised with 50 million euros extra to support the infrastructure developments necessary to increase capacity. “We will support quick improvements, in particular with mobile equipment, to reduce waiting times and improve movement through the border crossing points and their access routes,” the EC said in a note. However, the EC did not clarify what mobile equipment specifically means in this case.
European institutions coming together to strengthen Solidarity Lanes
The Commission is also collaborating with other European institutions to create funds for liquidity for operators, and financing of repairs and capacity increases. For example, the European Investment Bank plans to invest up to EUR 300 million by the end of 2023, mostly focussing on railway and road upgrades.
Similarly, the World Bank Group will allocate around 100 million euros in disbursements in 2023. These funds will be used to carry out repairs on railways and roads damaged by the war. Finally, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to invest EUR 300 million in favour of Solidarity Lanes over 2022-2023. However, it is not clear what the EBRD’s funds will be used for.