Ukraine will cooperate with the German railway company, Deutsche Bahn. The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure signed a memorandum of understanding with the German railway company at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland) on January 22.
This was announced by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksii Honcharuk, the CFTS portal reports.
“The Ministry of Infrastructure has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the German railway operator, Deutsche Bahn. This alliance is a logical continuation of the Ukrzaliznytsia restructuring plan that President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced in September 2019. I am confident that learning from the experience of the most successful European railway company will increase the efficiency and quality of rail transport in Ukraine," Honcharuk said.
Honcharuk added that the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers and Deutsche Bahn reached an understanding of their future cooperation after a meeting last week: "Ukraine will retain full control of Ukrzaliznytsia. German experts will work on reform of the company’s management mechanisms. Therefore, I want to immediately discard all the rumors by saying that we are not considering selling or leasing a strategically important state company like Ukrzaliznytsia."
He also expressed the hope that German efficiency and intolerance of corruption will become the basis for changing the situation at Ukrzaliznytsia.
As reported earlier, Member of Parliament Oleksandr Skichko, who is a member of the parliament’s transport committee, also stated on the eve of the signing of the memorandum that cooperation between the Ukrainian and the German railway company would not involve privatization of Ukrzaliznytsia and that it would only involve creation of a new form of management at Ukrzaliznytsia.
The CFTS reported for the first time on January 15 that strategic cooperation could be established between Deutsche Bahn and Ukrzaliznytsia.
In September 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi instructed the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Infrastructure to develop a plan for restructuring Ukrzaliznytsia, which should provide for division of the company into three operators (infrastructure, freight, and passenger), as well as a production unit.
Later, Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklyi promised that he would soon make a decision on the leadership of Ukrzaliznytsia.
The company itself said that its division into three operators (infrastructure, freight, and passenger) was expected to be completed before the end of 2021.