Andrey Pivovarsky: New Silk Road to start functioning on regular basis in March

Kyiv, February 5, AZERTAC

A freight train on Ukraine-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan-China route will start running on a regular basis in March 2016, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Andrey Pivovarsky was quoted by Ukrinform as saying.

"The final protocol resolving all technical problems is expected to be sealed in Baku on February 20. We can say that starting from March this train can operate in a business mode,” Pivovarsky said.

A trial container train linking Ukraine to China through the Caspian and Black Seas departed from the Baku International Sea Trade Port to Aktau, Kazakhstan, on January 22.

The container train, which consists of 20 cars, delivered cargo from Ilichivsk (Ukraine) to Dostyk (China) within 11-12 days. The container train on route Ukraine-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan-China, officially known as Trans-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor or New Silk Road, left the Ukrainian port of Illichivsk on January 15.

The new route includes ferries of the Black and Caspian Seas (Illichivsk — Batumi and Alat — Aktau Port) and must be competitive in comparison with the traditional overland route. On January 14, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia signed a protocol on the establishment of preferential tariffs for cargo transportation on this transport route.

Zeinal Aghazade

Special Correspondent

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