A speech by Polish vice minister of transport (2006-2007) Boguslaw Kowalski at the opening of the Ukrainian section of the European Rolling Stock Forum 2015, which took place in Warsaw on 11 March.

We all know that Ukraine is a market with very great potential and an enormous role for the railway. However, the country is currently in a historical situation. Ukraine has clearly turned to the West, and it has an unequivocally pro-European orientation. The legal consequence of this reversal will definitely be deregulation of the railway in accordance with European rules and the relevant reforms.

The State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) is now simultaneously facing the challenges of operational reform and adaptation to the requirements of the European Union.

Everyone is watching what is happening in Ukraine with great interest. many are saying, O.K., if everything works out for you and we like the result, we will find you a place at the European Union table together with other members of the union. However, this is not what Ukraine needs right now. What is needed is not support from the stands while watching Ukraine’s match, but to get onto the field and actively help. In addition, the assistance that is needed is not declarative in nature, what is needed are real projects and actions aimed at supporting this country.

I urge you to do business with Ukraine not selfishly but to offer assistance in the form of specific know-how, cooperation, and projects that are beneficial not only to us, but also to the other side. I remember our experience of reform, and I want to emphasize that we were also taught and persuaded that we would only benefit from liberalization. Of course, we will lose something, but we will benefit as a whole.

Special thanks to Ukrzaliznytsia’s acting General Director Maksym Blank for his patronage of our forum. This is the first time that Ukrzaliznytsia is attending such an important forum in Poland. This demonstrates a real desire by the Ukrainian railways to establish contacts with the European Union, the sincerity of the declared course. I repeat, we should not be selfish in this cooperation.