The European Commission, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), has launched a pre-feasibility study to assess how best to connect the Ukrainian and Moldovan rail networks with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The study is expected to be completed in May 2023.
The track gauge used in most of the EU is different from that in Eastern Europe, making it difficult to ship goods in both directions. According to the EIB, this could be solved by extending the EU gauge across the Polish and Romanian borders to Ukraine and Moldova.
EIB Vice President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine and Moldova, said that this is the “right step at the right time”.
“The integration of the rail networks will allow an easier and safer movement of people, goods and services between the three markets, and a faster integration of the two countries with the EU.”, Teresa Czerwinska said. “Finally, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian ports, which induced a global food crisis of an unprecedented scale, these new transport links will create a reliable alternative food supply that will benefit the entire world.”