Slawomir Nowak, who was Poland’s transport minister from 2011 to 2013, has been appointed as the new acting head of the State Automobile Road Agency (Ukravtodor), the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"We believe that Ukravtodor requires serious knowledge, including international. Our position is that high-quality roads, autobahns that will connect us with European countries should be created in Ukraine. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the professional level of Ukravtodor," Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said before presenting Nowak at a government meeting in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Nowak said that he was previously responsible for transport plans and investment during Poland’s preparation for the Euro 2012 football tournament. Before then, he was a deputy in the Polish Sejm. According to him, one of his greatest successes was fundamental reform of the Polish railways and an IPO by the PKP Cargo company (one of its reformers, Wojciech Balczun, currently heads the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company).

"Regarding my vision of reform: it is creation of a state road fund and improvement of the cooperation with the EBRD, the World Bank, and private capital. We need to perform a technical audit of roads very quickly and improve technical standards. We need to quickly draft a plan for construction and reconstruction of roads based on traffic," he said.

Nowak added that he wanted to invite to Ukraine international companies to bid in road tenders jointly with Ukrainian businesses. "For me, internal reform of Ukravtodor and an effective system for monitoring trucks and a system of charges from them are very important," he said.

As reported, Nowak was recently involved in a scandal involving an undeclared watch worth USD 3,500. However, according to Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian, "he later defended his honest name in court."

Yevhen Barakh was the acting head of Ukravtodor from June 2016. Until then, he was the first deputy head of the agency.