The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) will not submit proposals to increase rail freight rates in 2021 to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure.

The company annoiunced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

“We are not planning to raise rates, although many experts are pushing us to do this. We are being pushed to the idea that we will not be able to take Ukrzaliznytsia out of the financial abyss in which it finds itself without raising rates,"Ukrzaliznytsia's head Volodymyr Zhmak said during a roundtable on improving the interaction between the carrier and customers, which was attended by representatives of major shippers.

According to Zhmak, such an idea arose because the company's losses amounted to UAH 11 billion in January-September 2020. According to him, there were many reasons for these losses but the company's management has either eliminated or is working to eliminate them.

The head of Ukrzaliznytsia also said that one of the reasons for the company's losses was the its "virtual" profit in 2019, which was achieved only thanks to exchange-rate differences.

"However, Ukrzaliznytsia does not intend to raise rates. We are going to reduce the cost of our services, and for this we are working on optimization in all areas: electricity, saving diesel fuel, combating its theft, optimization of traffic," Zhmak said.

As the CFTS reported earlier, Ukrzaliznytsia is predicting revenues of UAH 17.6 billion from freight transportation in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company is hoping for high quarterly earnings from its core business.