The head of the "City Institute” (Odessa), Anton Yarotskyi wrote a Facebook post on the transport prospects of the Danube region of Ukraine and the issues that should be considered when preparing the Odessa-Reni highway project.
"If we analyze the current overland transport corridors that have been created on the basis of historical trade routes “from the Varangians to the Greeks," one will find that they currently encircle the southern part of the Odessa region - Bucak, Ukrainian Bessarabia, or the Ukrainian Danube region.
The European route E87 (Antalya-Odessa), together with the European route E95 (Odessa-St. Petersburg), is one of these corridors. The Highway M15 (Odessa-Reni) is a strategically important segment of this international corridor. In addition to the fact that the coupling of the routes E87 and E95 competes with the international route E85 (Alexandroupoli-Constanta-Klaipeda), there are difficulties at regional level. The routes E584 and E581, which pass through the territory of Moldova, are an attractive alternative to the Odessa-Reni route.
What do we need to understand in this case? Ukraine with access to the Danube is a fundamentally different country in terms of its geopolitical power. Apparently, we ourselves do not fully understand this. Surprisingly, Moldova is protecting its national interests more effectively.
Moldova gained access to the Danube after we gave it the piece of land on which it built the port of Giurgiulesti. We did this to the detriment of our own port of Reni. In return, we received a section of road between Mayaki and Udobnoye near the Moldovan village of Palanca. This is one of Ukraine’s two arteries that connect the Ukrainian mainland with Bessarabia. We will leave aside the question of whether it was an even exchange. What is done is done. It is not subject to return or exchange.
"To get to Romania from Ukraine, it is necessary to cross the Ukrainian border, enter Moldova, travel 2 kilometers (!) through the country, and then come out. Only then can one reach the Romanian border"
However, we did not insist on protection of our national interests by securing the right for vehicles to travel on transit through Giurgiulesti itself. To get to Romania from Ukraine, it is necessary to cross the Ukrainian border, enter Moldova, travel 2 kilometers (!) through the country, and then come out. Only then can one reach the Romanian border. There is no rational explanation for the fact that a transit vehicle is forced to waste time on the road at the border to cross the territory of Moldova. This definitely reduces the attractiveness of Ukraine’s route M15 to vehicles and plays into the hands of the Moldovan side.
In addition, all is not well on the stretch of road between Mayaki and Udobnoye. It is necessary to expand the roadway, repair bridges, and separate the flows of traffic into those leaving Ukraine for Moldova and those on transit. These two problems leave a vast region, our ports on the Danube, and our Black Sea coast without air.
Billion-hryvnia projects for construction of the Odesa-Reni highway will be of no benefit if we do not solve these problems. Ferry crossings and bridges over the River Dniester estuary are a price that is too high to pay for the infantilism and impotence of the protectors of our national interests. We need to look at the situation not as an ending, but as an opening in which we have made a few tactical sacrifices to achieve a beneficial position."