In the Illichivsk port (Chornomorsk), 269 railcars were waiting to depart for the Batumi port and 129 railcars for the port of Poti as of August 4. This situation arose as a consequence of the increased load on the alternative route for delivery of goods to Central Asia because of transit sanctions imposed by Russia, which have restricted the transportation of freight on transit to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Viktor Dovhan announced this, the CFTS reports.

The deputy minister also said that about 740 trucks were awaiting departure for the Georgian ports.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economy, the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company, the Ukrainian Port Authority, exporters, and ferry operators held a joint meeting to attempt to resolve this situation. At the end of the meeting, a decision was made to hold a meeting of directors on joint operation of train ferries between the ports of Varna, Poti/Batumi, and Illichivsk by 10 September this year.

In addition, Ukrzaliznytsia and the Ukrferry and BMF ferry operators are to draft and approve a plan for loading railcars within one week and agree a timetable for the movement of ferries in the direction of the Georgian ports. Exporters are to provide information about the volumes of cargo they plan to transport through the Illichivsk port to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Within two weeks, the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure is to prepare proposals on increasing the number of ferries and to reducing the charges in the Illichivsk port during transportation of goods to Central Asia.

"I am waiting for qualified proposals on transit on the Silk Road," Dovhan wrote.

As reported earlier, the number of Kazakhstan- and Kyrgyzstan-bound railcars held up on Ukraine's border with Russia had reached 143 as at 09:00 on 1 August, but 106 of them (74.1%) have been rerouted.

Under the new rules that Russia introduced on 1 January, railcars and trucks transporting goods from Ukraine on transit to Kazakhstan can only enter Russia through Belarus. In addition, the new rules stipulate that railcars and other compartments in which goods are held must be sealed, including with the use of trackers based on the GLONASS satellite system. 

On 1 July, these rules were extended to goods being transported to Kyrgyzstan. In addition, Russia imposed a ban on transportation by road or rail of goods subject to the import duties established by the Common Customs Tariff of Eurasian Economic Union and the goods included in the list of agricultural products, raw materials, and foodstuffs approved by the Russian government.

According to the document, the government of Russia may allow transportation of some of the abovementioned products by road or rail if the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan make the relevant appeal and if the procedures for transporting them are observed.