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Ukraine further integrates into European transport network

Ukraine is increasing its integration into the European Union through the expansion of Ukrainian routes in the overall European transport network.
Ukrainian and EU flags flying in front of the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo via
Ukraine further integrates into European transport network

Ukraine took part in high-level events as part of the Connecting Europe Days week dedicated to the development of transport and logistics routes in Europe, as reported by Ukrinform, based on information from the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.

In particular, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhii Derkach noted that Ukraine is expanding its transport network through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

“Ukraine’s integration into the European Union is taking place, in particular, through the expansion of Ukrainian routes in the TEN-T network. We are working on the next step – the inclusion of routes leading to the Danube in the transport network. This is extremely important given the development of the Danube Cluster and the need to increase logistics capabilities,” Derkach said.

Derkach added that Ukraine’s presence in TEN-T facilitates access to some of the EU’s instruments for financing transport projects on an equal footing with other countries.

TEN-T envisages coordinated improvements to primary roads, railways, inland waterways, airports, seaports, inland ports, and traffic management systems, providing integrated and intermodal long-distance, high-speed routes. A decision to adopt TEN-T was made by the European Parliament and Council in July 1996. The EU works to promote the networks by a combination of leadership, coordination, issuance of guidelines and funding aspects of development.

Ukraine’s European integration during wartime

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has significantly impacted global trade routes, which led to an unprecedented level of cooperation to improve Ukraine’s connections to the world. To keep Ukrainian imports and exports moving, the EU, Ukraine, and Moldova have set up new transport routes via rail, road, and inland waterways. Since May 2022, they have allowed Ukraine to export and import goods it needs, which are valued at about €47 billion for Ukraine’s exports and around €96 billion for Ukraine’s imports.

Since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the Commission has placed renewed emphasis on diversifying supply and transport routes, and connectivity and transport relations with Ukraine, which have new geopolitical and strategic interests.

By 2030, Ukraine, as part of the integration into the TEN-T network, plans to implement railway development projects worth €4.5 billion. The inclusion of Ukrainian railways in the European network allows access to EU assistance tools.

A European military corridor to the East

While Ukrainian transport infrastructure is further integrated into the European network, EU members are realizing that logistics and mobility are matters of utmost priority, especially in the aftermath of the Russian full-scale invasion.

As a result of this, on 30 January 2024, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland signed an agreement designed to enable the “faster and more efficient” movement of troops and materiel from deep-water North Sea ports to Europe’s eastern borders. 

According to Polish Defense Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, mobility across Europe has become a crucial matter as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion. 

“The large-scale war in Ukraine shows the importance of moving allied troops quickly,” explained Kosiniak-Kamysz on signing the agreement.

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