The European Commission has approved the final text of the Agreement on the liberalization of road transport on the Ukraine — EU routes. The agreement provides for the performance of bilateral and transit traffic by Ukrainian carriers without permits, the press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reports.
"By concluding such an agreement, we will be able to significantly improve and speed up logistics between Ukraine and the EU. This is critical right now, when in the conditions of the blockade of seaports, the Ukrainian economy is completely dependent on stable logistics on the western borders," said Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov.
The ministry added that the volume of exports by road has increased several times due to the full-scale war and the blockade of Ukrainian seaports.
Therefore, the signing of the Agreement will eliminate the need for carriers to obtain appropriate permits for transportation on a permanent basis. In addition, the Agreement will avoid stopping the export of Ukrainian goods through road checkpoints on the western border.
According to Minister Kubrakov, Ukraine is simultaneously developing border infrastructure, which will increase capacity at the western borders. They also plan to eliminate all bottlenecks at the border.
Negotiations on the possibility of concluding a Special Agreement on the liberalization of road transport began in autumn 2021. The signing of the document is scheduled for the end of June.
Why is this important?
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Mustafa Nayyem previously said that the signing of the agreement would be "as important for carriers as the abolition of visas with EU countries."
He added that over the past five years, the EU has become Ukraine's main trading partner. However, further growth in trade was limited due to a lack of permits for international transportation.
"In fact, the permit system was an artificial barrier to free trade, restricting not only bilateral trade but also the transit of our goods to EU countries," he said.
On May 9, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine could not export about 90 million tons of agricultural products due to the blockade of seaports by Russia. Thus the occupying power wants to imduce a global food crisis.
The United Nations has estimated that 276 million people worldwide are already facing severe famine in early 2022. This figure is expected to increase by 47 million if the war in Ukraine continues. It is noted that most people are affected in sub-Saharan Africa.
On May 10, Ukraine's Defense Intelligence reported that the occupiers had already exported most of the grain stolen from Ukraine to the Mediterranean Sea. As of June 3, it is known that Russia has already exported to Syria about 100,000 tons of stolen wheat. From there, grain can be smuggled to other countries in the Middle East.