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BREAKING: DB signs an MoU with Ukrainian Railways

BREAKING: DB signs an MoU with Ukrainian Railways
foto: Archive/BREAKING: DB signs an MoU with Ukrainian Railways
20 / 09 / 2022

Today, on September 20, on the first day of the largest international trade fair InnoTrans 2022, which takes place in Berlin, Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, together with the Chairman of the Board of Ukrzaliznytsia Oleksandr Kamyshin, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which provides for support and cooperation in the field of international freight transportation.

This agreement guarantees Ukrzaliznytsia support and assistance from Deutsche Bahn in the long term, including in the post-war period. It is not only about strengthening the partnership, in particular in the expansion of freight corridors and terminal capacities, but also extensive consulting services in the implementation of European standards of railway operations and management.

"We have the utmost respect for how unwavering and courageous our Ukrainian colleagues have been in doing their jobs under wartime conditions. For millions of people, rail is the only means of transportation; for the economy, it is the most important lifeline. A functioning rail system will be essential as Ukraine rebuilds. DB and the entire European rail family are keenly aware of this fact, and we stand in firm support of our colleagues in Ukraine. It is both an honour and our duty to partner with UZ on its pathway to a bright future," said Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of DB.

In turn, Alexander Kamyshin comments: "In fostering independence from Russia's harmful influence, reorienting the European rail system to new opportunities needs to be the priority. I am confident that a partnership between DB and Ukrzaliznytsia can offer major benefits to both sides in expanding freight transport and grain exports to Europe. There is no doubt that DB is an expert in this area. I am confident that our partnership can bring forth valuable results. Powerful synergies can be drawn from DB's professionalism and follow-through, coupled with UZ's courage and motivation, and these synergies can offer Europe and Europeans new resilience and more options for shifting traffic to rail. I would like to thank Dr Lutz and DB's employees for supporting Ukraine."

Cooperation between Ukrzaliznytsia and Deutsche Bahn will be aimed at strengthening the reform and modernization of Ukrainian railways. The partnership between the two parties has been close since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but will obviously gain new intensity from now on. The new partnership aims to improve rail freight transport, in particular, agricultural cargo. For example, DB Cargo experts will help to develop new freight corridors and terminals for transhipment from broad gauge to standard gauge or modernize existing ones.

Dr Volker Wissing, German Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, said: "I have been deeply moved by the incredible courage and perseverance which rail employees in Ukraine have shown in transporting countless people to safety and keeping supply chains running in their country, in collaboration with colleagues throughout Europe. As far as I am concerned, Ukraine will continue to receive all the support we can offer. Long-term civilian partnerships like this one, which will strengthen the country during this crucial phase of the war and beyond, are an important factor in this regard."

In addition, the cooperation is aimed at increasing the export of Ukrainian grain to the EU using Ukrainian grain wagons. Some major freight hubs of the western railway network of Ukraine can already be accessed by wagons of the European standard gauge. It significantly speeds up the transports that are already being carried out by DB Cargo's national companies in Poland and Romania.

DB will continue to assist in the creation of corporate structures in UZ, which is, among other things, a prerequisite for obtaining financial assistance for reconstruction. It is also planned to supply spare parts. The possibility of delivering wagon material is also being considered, but it requires expensive conversion to broad gauge.