Since the invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February, the UK Government has done much to support its Eastern European ally by delivering essential arms and humanitarian support, joining sanctions on the Russian Federation, and providing a refuge for those fleeing the conflict.
Now, the UK has signed a historic pact with Ukraine that commits to sharing engineering expertise and pledges a new package of support to help rebuild its war damaged infrastructure. Transport ministers from both nations signed the historic joint action plan on 25 August, with the aim of helping to rebuild Ukraine’s transport network.
The agreement was announced after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hosted a virtual meeting with his counterpart at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, in the same week Ukraine marked its Independence Day and six months since the start of invasion.
After a presentation from Ukrainian officials on the impact of the war to their train network, roads, and bridges, the two transport leaders signed the plan to help restore these vital links. It agrees to share expert advice from prestigious UK-based private-sector organisations and will see the UK send five buses from the Go Ahead Group to support the reconnection of the Ukrainian public and buy equipment to repair routes which are crucial for exporting grain.
Experts will also offer knowledge in airport, runway, and port reconstruction, and will work with the Ministry of Infrastructure to identify training opportunities for airport staff, air traffic controllers, and aviation security.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s great to meet with the Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister today and offer the UK’s expertise and resource to help them rebuild and get its people get moving again in the face of this brutal conflict.
“In the UK we have some of the best transport experts in the world and sharing this with Ukraine will not only help them rebuild – but will boost the profile of UK businesses on a global scale.”
The Transport Secretary also outlined more detail about the £10 million Ukrainian Railways support package, previously announced by the Prime Minister at the G7 Summit. This will buy bridge repair and tunnel lining equipment, key hand tools, and more than 120 shipping containers, which will help mobilise Ukrainian grain trains, currently hampered by Russian activity. With Ukraine being one of the biggest exporters of grain in the world, these vital interventions will help its economy recover and alleviate pressure on global food prices.
Ukrainian Minister for Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov said: “The fate of war is decided not only on the battlefield. Ukraine needs a strong economy and steadily operating infrastructure.
Thanks to today’s agreements, we expect to receive high-quality expertise from leading British companies and institutes to restore Ukrainian infrastructure.
I am grateful to my colleague, the Transport Secretary, for Great Britain’s comprehensive support of Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression.”
Ukraine needs your support
Ukraine needs help to start planning and rebuilding its transport network. Road, rail, airport, and port infrastructure all need to be rebuilt or repaired.
If you are a UK transport infrastructure organisation, you can register your interest in joining the UK-Ukrainian transport partnership.
This will support the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows the safe passage of grain, food, and fertiliser exports out of Ukraine in protected shipping corridors. So far, the initiative has freed 721,449 metric tons of goods from 3 Ukrainian ports.
To register your interest in joining the UK-Ukraine transport partnership, email the following information to [email protected]:
• Contact name
• Your role in the company or organisation
• Name of company or organisation
• Direct contact email address
• Transport sector expertise
For more information visit www.gov.uk/guidance/register-to-be-part-of-the-uk-ukraine-transport-partnership.
Image credit: istockphoto.com