Ukraine will lose 1 million tons of cargo if it fails to find a route to Central Asia that bypasses Russia. Ivan Khoriakov, the deputy head of the commercial department at PJSC Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia), announced this at a meeting of the Dialogue Club, the CFTS portal reports.

To increase the attractiveness of the Ukraine-Central Asia-China bypass route, ways of reducing its cost and accelerate it are being considered. "Not only railways should lower tariffs, but also ferries and shipping companies. It is also necessary to reduce port charges," said Khoriakov.

"A year ago, we warned that transit through Russia would become a problem. Therefore, we are simply forced to consider the issue of a bypass route," he added.

Ukrzaliznytsia has asked the Georgian and Azerbaijani railways to reduce their rates for transit of railcars by 50%. The parties will consider this proposal at a meeting in Aktau (Kazakhstan) today, 28 January.

China has already welcomed Ukraine’s proposed route for transporting cargo from China to Europe, bypassing Russia.

As the CFTS portal reported, Ukrzaliznytsia has significantly reduced its tariff for transportation of containers on transit from the Illichivsk port to the western border of Ukraine in 2016.

"The tariff policy for 2016 freight year set the tariffs for transportation of containers on container trains on the route Illichivsk Ferry - Western border crossings at a level that is 60% lower than it was in 2015," the press service of Ukrzaliznytsia said in response to an information request from CFTS.