Ukraine should secure its geopolitical position as the first European country on the Silk Road and one of the options for extension of the route could be to the Baltic States. Deputy Prime Minister Hennadii Zubko announced this in Kyiv on Monday.
"We are launching through the corridor from the Black Sea to the Baltic States an additional corridor connected by a Viking train with a volume estimated at up to 1 million tons of cargo," said Zubko.
According to him, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland are interested in cargo traffic from Central Asia passing through Ukraine.
As the CFTS portal previously reported, the 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.
In addition, Ukrzaliznytsia announced in September 2015 that transportation of goods on Viking trains from China to Europe was a possibility. The relevant protocol was signed during a meeting of the heads of the railways of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine on the issue of creation of competitive tariff conditions for cargo transportation on the Asia-Europe-Asia route, which took place in Odessa on 11 September 2015.
Lithuania launched its own Saule container train on the Klaipeda port-Kazakhstan route in 2011. The first test train arrived in Lithuania from Kazakhstan with 41 containers in November 2011, with the journey taking 13 days. It passes through the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania.