On 12 May, the European Commission presented a set of actions – ‘Solidarity Lanes’ – to help Ukraine export its agricultural produce and import the goods it needs, from humanitarian aid to animal feed and fertilisers.
Following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods can no longer reach their destinations. The situation is threatening global food security and there is an urgent need to establish alternative logistics routes using all relevant transport modes.
“Twenty million tonnes of grains have to leave Ukraine in less than three months using the EU infrastructure. This is a gigantesque challenge, so it is essential to coordinate and optimise the logistic chains, put in place new routes, and avoid, as much as possible, the bottlenecks,” said European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean. She added that the EU was proposing emergency solutions, as well as medium- and long-term measures to better connect and integrate Ukraine’s infrastructure with the EU one.
According to the EU, thousands of wagons and lorries are waiting for clearance on the Ukrainian side of the EU-Ukraine border. Also, Ukrainian wagons are not compatible with most of the EU rail network, so most goods need to be transhipped to lorries or wagons that fit the EU standard gauge.
To address these obstacles, the Commission, together with Member States and stakeholders, will work on the following priority actions in the short term:
In the medium to long term, the Commission will also work on increasing the infrastructure capacity of new export corridors. Against this background, the Commission today adopted a Decision with a view to signing a high-level agreement with Ukraine, updating the maps for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), as part of the Commission’s policy on extending the TEN-T to neighbouring countries.
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