Another project of the Ministry of Infrastructure instead of real work
On New Year’s eve, the government decided to ‘please’ the Ukrainians. According to the Minister of Infrastructure Krykliy, an agreement was reached with the head of the World Bank in Ukraine Arup Banerjee on lending a new ‘megaproject’ for the development of Ukraine’s transport system in the railway, aviation and road sectors.
Already in 2021, for the appearance of high-speed railways in Ukraine, the Ministry of Infrastructure plans to start building a Euro-track. Having abandoned the plans of the ex-minister Omelyan to build this wider track in parallel with the existing narrower one, Krykliy decided: “in order not to endanger anyone’s life, the Euro-track should be built on overpasses”.
There is no talk of creating jobs, reducing Ukrzaliznytsia’s credit debt, renewing passenger cars, worn out by 92%. There is no talk either of the state order for carriage factories for the production of new passenger and freight cars – to save the production of cars in Ukraine, which after 2015 collapsed 50 times.
Why, then, are Western loans being taken?
“... The government’s initiative is fully consistent with the recently adopted EU transport strategy, according to which the railway is identified as a priority mode of transport. For its development, the EU member states will direct credit funds, which will have to be given to the people of Ukraine. Passenger traffic by this type of transport should double in the next 10 years”, Deputy Finance Minister Oleksandr Kava explained.
That is why they plan to build a wide European track on overpasses, so that in their free time from the ‘reform’ the representatives of the Servant of the People could comfortably travel around Europe in new wagons bought in the same Europe and the United States, or export Ukrainian labor resources to the EU?
If the ‘reformer’-minister from the Servant of the People Krykliy so dreams of a modern transport system on overpasses, why were overpasses not used on the 30-kilometer section of Dnieper - Reshetilovka? The state spent UAH 12 billion to build a one-level unregulated intersection there. The USD 139.9 million loan from the World Bank for the first part of the bypass road near Poltava was also ineffectively used – a road junction section with a length of only 5.5 km was built.
The Ministry of Infrastructure has long turned into the Ministry of Infrastructure Fairy Tales for Ukrainians (since the days of Omelyan with his idea to build a ‘hyperloop’ in the country), and most importantly, into a space system in terms of its scale of laundering budget and credit funds.
If this were not the case, Zelenskyy and his team would not spoil relations with China, agreeing, under pressure from the United States, to dismantle the already installed telecommunications equipment of the Chinese giant Huawei, which has been successfully operating in our country for 20 years.
Then, when forming the transport strategy of Ukraine, huge investments from China would be attracted, which it invests in the infrastructure of those countries where the Silk Road passes. The scale of these investments by the PRC is trillions of dollars. Ukraine is a member of the transport corridor Europe - Caucasus - Asia (TRACECA). This strategic route provides a trade turnover between Europe and Asia in the amount of over USD 2 trillion, of which transport services alone - over USD 200 billion. The Chinese strategy provides for the construction of numerous infrastructure projects, in particular new railways, highways, development of a port and logistics base, pipelines and lines power supply. This large-scale project gives a powerful impetus to the development of the economies of transit countries. Moreover, China is investing in it, not lending.
At the development stage of the Silk Road in 2013, our country was among the participants in the project. Then Ukraine and the PRC signed a roadmap for its implementation – China was ready to invest USD 7 billion in the infrastructure of Ukraine. To note, Chinese investors were quite satisfied with cargo transportation on the existing railway track. However, despite the fact that in 2019 the International Union of Railways FERRMED signed a memorandum on the development of Eurasian logistics for the transport of goods between China and the EU countries with a map of railway routes, Ukraine is outside the project. The main cargo traffic is directed through neighboring Belarus.
Why? Because Ukraine has a non-transparent and long-term mechanism for customs clearance. And also because under external pressure and for the convenience of Western ‘partners’, as well as for comfortable travel of the President’s team by rail, the government intends to build a Euro-track on overpasses.
The Opposition Platform - For Life is confident: both the government and the Servant of the People MPs, who support the next fabulous infrastructure ‘megaprojects’, are not taking Western loans to improve the pound.
Opposition Platform - For Life party