Ukraine and EU discuss priority reconstruction projects
24 April 2023
Ukraine’s infrastructure development ministry has met with EU finance specialists to discuss the development of priority projects for the reconstruction of the war-torn country.
The discussion focused largely on the possibility of a joint project between the Ukrainian government and the EU’s European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to rapidly increase the capacity of the Danube ports.
The project is seen as critical to global food security, with operations through the Black Sea seaports currently severely restricted, due to Russian blockades.
Plans for developing the Danube Port Cluster were the main topic of the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister for Recovery of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov, and the EBRD delegation, which was headed by the Bank’s president, Odile Renaud-Basso.
Security beyond Ukraine
A list of measures developed by the engineering consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV were discussed, including investment, operational and regulatory changes that might need to be made within Ukraine, Moldova and Romania, to enable the port expansion plans to progress.
A specific project for the development of the Ukrainian-Romanian section of the Danube River, to increase the number of vessels able to enter ports was also covered.
Following the meeting, Oleksandr Kubrakov said, “Undoubtedly, the Danube Cluster has become a critical element of global food security in the face of limited operation of the Black Sea seaports, in particular, through operational dredging in the ports of the Danube region to restore their passport characteristics.
“In this way, we are reviving the Bystry Estuary channel as an alternative route for Ukrainian agricultural exports.”
Crucial transport infrastructure
Meanwhile, the ministry and associated organisations are already implementing a number of joint projects with the EBRD, including the development of the road sector, as part of the Trans-European Transport Network initiative.
Currently, cooperation with the EBRD is said to be underway to bring the M-09 Ternopil - Lviv - Rawa Ruska (to Lublin) and M-11 Lviv - Shehyni road development plans into the overhaul initiative.
In addition, plans for the expansion and electrification of the railway network and the further development of the beleaguered postal service were discussed.
Kubrakov said, “We are…discussing with our partners projects to restore the basic infrastructure: power, water supply and sewage, transport infrastructure, and housing in the liberated areas.”