Ukrainian Railways goes international with new Polish branch
Ukrainian Railways (UZ) is setting up Ukrainian Railways Cargo Poland to establish a presence in the European market. The new company will provide rail freight services suitable for both the standard (1435mm) and wide (1520mm) gauges.
More specifically, the new entity aims at coordinating work with European operators and cargo owners as well as managing the rolling stock that will be deployed internationally. Moreover, the new company is also committed to ensure the logistics process as a whole. The first head of the newly established Ukrainian Railways Cargo Poland will be Mykhailo Plastun, already Director of the Representative Office for UZ.
A step closer to the EU for Ukraine?
This move may be interpreted as another step for Kyiv towards its entrance into the European Union, an issue that is being discussed at length since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We are integrating the system of cargo rail transportation of Ukraine into the European space and are starting to build a full-fledged cargo transportation operator on the territory of the EU”, said Yevhen Lyashchenko, chairman of the UZ board.
Over the past few months, Ukraine and the EU have been taking steps to get closer to each other. In October, for example, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies said that four TEN-T corridors would be extended to Ukraine and Moldova. In May, Ukraine joined the Free Rail Programme, launched by Lithuanian Railways to create a standardised network between Kyiv and the Baltics. Finally, in June, Poland and Ukraine agreed to extending the standard gauge up to Kiyv.
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