"Today was an important day in the life of Ukrzaliznytsia. The government has begun corporatization of the company. This is the first step on the road to reform of Ukrzaliznytsia," Infrastructure Minister Andrii Pyvovarskyi wrote on his Facebook page on September 2.

According to him, it is still necessary to adopt a new law on railways, a new law on the National Transport Regulation Commission, and then amend 50 bylaws. The reform process will take several years. Such reforms took five to seven years in other central and eastern European countries,” the minister said.

"I emphasize that the corporatization does not provide for privatization of Ukrzaliznytsia. It is prohibited by law, it has never been discussed by the government, and it is not planned. Many of you have asked me why an independent valuation of its assets was performed? I explain: the valuation was needed for creation of the opening balance sheet of the Ukrzaliznytsia Public Joint-Stock Company. Thus, the countdown to increase or reduction of the Ukrzaliznytsia Public Joint-Stock Company’s assets begins now," Pyvovarskyi wrote.

According to Pyvovarskyi, the Deloitte audit firm’s valuation of Ukrzaliznytsia (UAH 245 billion) is three times the size of Ukrzaliznytsia’s balance-sheet assets. "It is worth noting that Ukrzaliznytsia’s assets in the Crimea and the ATO zone were not assessed based on their market values, for obvious reasons. They were included in the valuation based on their book values. These assets will be re-valued after liberation of the Donbass and return of the Crimea, and the value of the assets of the Ukrzaliznytsia Public Joint-Stock Company will increase," the Minister of Infrastructure wrote.

Read more: “Interview with the New Acting Head of Ukrzaliznytsia: Private Traction Will Emerge Whether We Desire it or Not”