Latvia ready to transport Ukrainian grain by rail
Photo: ERA

The national state railway company of Latvia is considering the possibility of transporting Ukrainian grain as early as this fall, stated the chairman of the board of Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz), Rinalds Pļavnieks, writes Delfi.

Previously, Pļavnieks was skeptical about the possibility of transporting Ukrainian grain by rail through Latvia. After all, in such transportation, two transshipments need to be carried out, he explained.

"Until this summer, I was absolutely skeptical about this issue and believed that it was impossible on an industrial scale," Pļavnieks said in an interview with Latvian Radio.

But the technological capabilities of logistics and transshipment have developed, and the process of transshipment can be much more efficient.

"Now there is an opportunity to transport Ukrainian grain," Pļavnieks said.

According to him, approximately 500,000 to 1 million tons of Ukrainian grain can be transported through Latvia every year. Latvijas dzelzceļš may be involved in the transportation of grain from Ukraine as early as this fall.

In the countries of the European Union neighboring Ukraine, including Poland, the track width is 1,435 mm, while in Ukraine and the Baltic countries a wide track of 1,520 mm is used. Because of this, when transporting Ukrainian grain by rail to the Baltic ports, it is necessary to change the track or reload the container from one train to another twice.

In October 2022, Ukrainian agricultural associations asked the President of Poland Andrzej Duda to consider the possibility of building a railway line with a track width of 1,520 mm , which would connect Ukraine with the ports of Gdańsk and Klaipeda.

In May 2023, Ukraine and Lithuania agreed to create a compatible railway network of 1,520 mm. There are also plans to develop alternative transport corridors between the ports of the Baltic Sea and Ukraine, bypassing Russia and Belarus.

In July, the European Union developed a strategy for Ukraine's transition to the Euro track.