President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has announced steps to develop high-speed passenger rail links in Ukraine.

The head of state made the announcement while opening the “Ukraine at 30” national forum on Monday, the CFTS correspondent reports.

“We will improve the existing routes, the routes of the Intercity trains. Our goal is for a train trip across Ukraine to take a maximum of 3-4 hours,” he said.

According to a presentation by the Office of the President of Ukraine’s deputy head Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the planned implementation period for the high-speed rail project is three years.

According to a slide that was published, high-speed rails on the Odesa – Ternopil – Lviv/Uzhhorod, Kyiv – Kryvyi Rih – Mykolaiv, Kyiv – Zaporizhia – Mariupol, and Kyiv – Kharkiv – Kostiantynivka routes are being considered.

As reported previously, the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A., an Italian state-owned holding company that manages infrastructure and services on the Italian rail network, in early February.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure announced in November 2020 that Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklyi and Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Volodymyr Zhmak had discussed the prospects for cooperation between Ukraine and Italy on development of high-speed rail links in Ukraine with Italy’s then-Ambassador to Ukraine Davide La Cecilia.

The ministry said at the time that Kryklyi welcomed the interest of Italian businesses in cooperation on this project, namely, preparation of a feasibility study for the construction of a high-speed railway on the Odesa-Kyiv-Lviv-EU border route with a total length of 896 kilometers.