Balczun denies statements by Omelian about freight train launch to Iran this summer

21.04.2017

Board Chairman of PJSC Ukzaliznytsia Wojciech Balczun says that currently it is impossible to launch a test freight train from Ukraine to Iran as there is no needed railway infrastructure.

Wojciech Balczun posted this message on his Facebook page following the report by the Infrastructure Ministry on the launch of such a train.

“On April 9, the minister [Volodymyr Omelian] said that a test train on the Ukraine-Iran route would be launched as early as this summer to transport agricultural products. The route will pass through the territory of Georgia and Azerbaijan. OK, for the specialists of Ukzaliznytsia it is the news. We will not comment on this so that to avoid charges of bias. Let's listen to objective expert Oleksandr Kava: "This train can only reach the Azerbaijan-Iran border in the city of Astara. Railway transportation is possible from Batumi only to Astara. The nearest Iranian railway station Rasht is 160 kilometers away. And this railway still needs to be built. It could take 3-4 years. If Ukrainian agricultural products arrive there, then they should be loaded into vehicles and so be transported through the territory of Iran,” Balczun said.

As Ukrinform earlier reported, the Infrastructure Ministry on April 20 informed, referring to Minister Omelian that Ukraine and Iran agreed to launch a freight train that will transport agriculture products between the countries, particularly grain crops. The route will pass through the territory of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The minister also noted that the test train on the Ukraine-Iran route could be launched as early as in the summer of 2017.


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