Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelian has stated this at the II Ukrainian Infrastructure Forum, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“As for the Silk Road, we raised this issue in 2015. First of all, we agreed with the Chinese side that Ukraine would like to be a member of not just the transport corridor but the economic belt. We have made every effort, become a member of the Silk Road and are working with China,” Omelian said.
According to him, the major issue is not logistics but the absence of the logistics team that would offer customers and business entities the best tariff rates for shipment by this route on the base of Ukrzaliznytsia PJSC and the maritime industry.
“We have done a lot, conducted negotiations with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan. We are approaching the super-low rates, and I believe the Southern Silk Road will be a competitive alternative to the Russian route. In addition, there are benefits and risk diversification for the Chinese side and the European Union. Hence, this route will be launched. The question is [whether it will be launched] this year or next year. For now, I am not ready to give an answer, but the number of trains running between China and the EU is rising massively every year,” Omelian noted.