EBRD – December 3, 2019
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is to furnish a loan of €259 million for upgrades of key transport infrastructure in Belarus. This includes a €126 million loan for the upgrade of 12 bridges, part of a comprehensive road rehabilitation programme initiated by the local government.
The second part of the package will be a €133 million loan for the modernisation of the M3 motorway, which links the country’s capital, Minsk, with Vitebsk, the fourth-largest city of Belarus, in the north-east.
It is part of plans in Belarus to become involved in regional trade networks and transport corridors. The Baltic states and Ukrainian Black Sea ports are both interested in improving mutual transport links to increase cargo transit.
Belarus is also a member of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multi modal transportation established in 2000 in St. Petersburg, by Iran, Russia and India for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among the Member States. This corridor connects India Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Islamic republic of IRAN, then is connected to St. Petersburg and North European via Russian Federation. The INSTC was expanded to include eleven new members, namely: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria (Observer).
Belarus has a network of roads that total around 87,000 kilometres, which includes the international transit corridors II and IX, which link European Union member states with Russia, Central Asia and China. They also connect the Baltic states with the Black Sea. The improved transit capacity and better connections in Belarus will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth prospects, stimulate trade and the help develop key infrastructure.
The Corridor II is one of the Pan-European corridors, which runs between Berlin in Germany, and Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, passing through Poland and Belarus. The corridor follows the route: Berlin – Poznań – Warsaw – Brest – Minsk – Smolensk – Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod. It is partly paralleled by the E30.
The Corridor IX runs between Helsinki in Finland and Alexandroupolis in Greece. The corridor follows the route: Helsinki – Vyborg – Saint Petersburg – Moscow – Kiev -Chişinău – Bucharest – Ruse – Stara Zagora – Dimitrovgrad – Alexandroupolis.
Belarus recently participated in the EU4Digital Facility, a series of working meetings on the digital transport corridor in Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania on 25, 26 and 28 November. The aim of the meetings was to present and discuss the concept of a digital transport corridor between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, the situation in the respective countries, as well as potential pilot activities.
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