The head of the European Union’s Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, has said that European institutions are ready to support two projects in Mariupol, the CFTS portal reports, citing information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure.

The first project provides for improvement of the Zaporizhia-Mariupol railway line and the second for construction of the Mariupol-Mykolaiv highway.

"We are currently talking about development of a preliminary feasibility study for both projects with funding from the European Investment Bank," the ministry said.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, residents of Mariupol held a protest last year to demand that the government begin repairing the Mariupol-Zaporizhia highway. The protesters insisted that this highway has already become the “road of life” because it is the only road that connects Mariupol with the rest of Ukraine. The government promised to allocate UAH 1 billion for repair of this highway in 2019.

Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian said in September that Germany was considering the possibility of providing funds for the Zaporizhia-Mariupol highway. “The German side is considering the possibility of allocating funds for a road in eastern Ukraine. It will probably be the Mariupol-Zaporizhia highway, and it will become the first real autobahn to be built in Ukraine in accordance with all EU requirements,” the minister said at the time.

The authorities are planning to address the issue of lack of transport infrastructure connecting Mariupol with other Ukrainian cities in various ways. The Ministry of Infrastructure announced in February that its plans for modernization of railway infrastructure in the direction of Mariupol in the near future included expansion of Khlibodarivka-Zachatievska railway stretch into a two-track railway and construction of a new train station. The cost of this project is estimated at EUR 4.5 million.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (JSC Ukrzaliznytsia) has launched a Kyiv-Mariupol night express train. The express train’s travel time will be two hours shorter than the travel time of a regular train on this route.