Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure is currently engaging the management of Deutsche Bahn in cooperation and development of the Ukrainian Railways public joint-stock company (JSC Ukrzaliznytsia) as advisers, with the possibility of changing their status in the future.
This was announced by Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklyi, the CFTS portal reports.
“After consultations and assessments, we will have a detailed understanding of what we will get, the benefits, how much it will cost us, and how much we will save. All this should be based on economic calculations. Naturally, Deutsche Bahn has enormous experience, and we want to learn as much as possible from this unique experience... For now, they will nominally be advisers, but we will see in the future,” Kryklyi told reporters on the sidelines of the Ukrainian Breakfast meeting in Davos.
The minister said that Ukraine would consult with German experts, particularly on development of passenger and freight transportation.
"Infrastructure is a component that is always in state ownership. Passenger and freight transportation, yes, but the scenario here is separate. It is too early to talk about it," Kryklyi said in comments to the Interfax Ukraine news agency.
In addition, he added that a strategic partnership with Deutsche Bahn would increase Ukraine’s transit potential.
As reported, Ukraine’s Prime Minister of Oleksii Honcharuk said earlier on January 23 that management of Ukrzaliznytsia could be transferred to Germany’s largest railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, for 10 years. “Yes, we want to transfer management of the railway to the Germans for 10 years,” Honcharuk said at the Ukrainian Breakfast meeting.
"We expect to be able to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Deutsche Bahn in Kyiv in the coming weeks," he added.
A memorandum of cooperation was signed between Deutsche Bahn and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on January 22.
According to the text of the memorandum, the two parties will study the possibility of creating a strategic partnership between Ukrzaliznytsia and Deutsche Bahn.
"The parties agreed to assess the possibility and expediency of further steps towards deepening the cooperation, including subsequent signing of a bilateral strategic partnership agreement by the relevant parties," the document states, but the final conditions for such cooperation have not yet been established.
As reported earlier, in September 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi instructed the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Infrastructure to develop a restructuring plan for Ukrzaliznytsia, which should provide for division of the company into three operators (infrastructure, freight, and passenger), as well as a production unit.
Kryklyi later 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.