Lithuania Joins Trans-Caspian Railway Transport Corridor

Ukraine and Lithuania have signed a deal on cooperating on the Silk Road project.

According to the deal the track will connect Ukraine’s Black sea port of Ilyichevsk to China.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk announced at a press conference on Monday that Ukraine has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lithuania on starting cooperation under the framework of the Silk Road initiative.

"This means that the Silk Road route through Ukraine will connect not only Ukraine, but also the European Union (EU) member states, with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and China," Yatsenyuk stated.

According to the Ukrainian Prime Minister, under the MOU, the Viking freight train will arrive from the Ukrainian port of Ilychevsk and travel in the direction of China through Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The combined transport train, Viking, has been on a regular route since 2003. The current members of the project are Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. Bulgaira joined them in 2012.

The total length of the route from Ukraine to Lithuania, through Belarus is 1,766 thousand kilometres.

Yatsenyuk also pledged to intensify his government's efforts to further extend the Silk Road route via Ukraine into the other EU countries by making cargo transportation on it cheaper and faster.

Ukraine launched its first test run of a cargo train to China through the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route on January 15th.

The train, which set to be put on the regular route later this month, would cover the full distance of 5,471 km from Ukraine to China in 9 to 14 days.

On January 14, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed a protocol on imposing competitive tariffs on the transportation of cargos through the trans-Caspian transport route.

03 February 2016 13:20