European Union (EU) banks are lending Ukraine €450m for road construction and rehabilitation projects to increase access both to western Europe and Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
The financing is intended to link Ukraine into the EU’s Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T).
Ukraine’s prime minister said the government would adopt anti-corruption and institutional changes to make the projects work.
The €450m will be spent on building a new, 23km northern motorway bypass in Lviv, which is the largest city in western Ukraine with over a million inhabitants.
Twenty-thousand vehicles a day are expected to use the bypass, which will connect Lviv with national road networks and Western Europe.
The money will also go to upgrading the existing 314km section of the M05 highway, the main north-south road connection from Kyiv towards the Black Sea ports, which is used by up to 25,000 vehicles a day.
The projects will be co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Construction will start in 2020 and work is envisaged to be finished by 2025.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk stated: "Building and reconstructing roads are extremely demanded by Ukrainians and are a positive factor for foreign investors. This particular Agreement will help us reconstruct over 300 km long road connecting Kyiv and Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
"In its turn, the Government of Ukraine will adopt all the necessary anti-corruption and institutional changes to make the cooperation with the partners as fruitful as possible."
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EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: "The EU bank is working towards ensuring a safer, faster and more interconnected transport system in Ukraine, with better links with the neighbouring European Union. Modern and high capacity regional transport systems and improved road infrastructure provide significant benefits to both Ukraine and the EU.
"This contributes to a higher quality of everyday life for people in terms of improved road safety, removal of bottlenecks and time savings and supports economic development by boosting trade, accelerating economic growth and providing better access to services and markets."
Image: The Port of Odessa, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. The road projects include include improving access to ports. (Sekator85/CC BY-SA 3.0)