Poland and Ukraine can play a key role in strengthening Euro-Asian transport links because of their favorable geographical locations, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Construction Jerzy Szmit has said.

Szmit was speaking after a meeting with Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian at the "Europe-Asia Integrated Transport Corridors" international transport conference, which was held in Odesa last week, according to the Polish media.

Szmit stressed the need to develop a new concept for development of multimodal transport in the context of the work between Europe and Asia. He also noted the special role of railways in this regard.

"Poland and Ukraine can play a key role in strengthening Euro-Asian transport links, thanks to their favorable locations. Poland is a sort of gateway for Asian goods into the European Union. At the same time, we expect the territory of Ukraine to be of strategic importance to Poland in this process, especially considering the fact that the shortest transport routes connecting Baltic and Black Sea ports pass through both countries," Szmit said.

In addition, Szmit and Omelian held bilateral meetings with Lithuania’s Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Saulius Girdauskas on the sidelines of the conference. The meetings focused on cooperation in regulating the vehicles of road transport carriers based in non-EU countries, particularly Russian carriers.

At the end of the bilateral meetings, agreements were reached on closer Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian cooperation on development of intermodal transport.

Currently, container trains from Asia to Europe pass through the territory of Poland and terminals located on the Polish-Belarusian border. 

As the CFTS portal previously reported, Ukraine’s Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company is holding talks with Polish railway operators on establishment of a common tariff with the aim of launching a container train between Black Sea and Baltic Sea ports.

According to Ukrzaliznytsia board member Marek Zalesny, there is a request to launch three container trains from Ukraine to the north of Poland.