New railway tunnel linking Ukraine, EU to open in May: media


The Beskyd railway tunnel connecting Ukraine and the European Union countries will be put into operation this year, Ukraine's government-run Ukrinform news agency said on Tuesday.

"The movement of trains through the double-track tunnel will start on May 25 this year," the agency said in a statement, citing its source in Ukraine's State Railway Company.

The tunnel, which is being under construction in the Carpathian Mountains in west Ukraine, will establish a new transport link between Ukraine's western city of Lviv and the Hungarian and Slovak borders.

Once completed, the 1,822-meter-long facility is set to replace the old single-track tunnel, thus enhancing Ukraine's transit capacity and cross-border trade.

The overall cost of the tunnel has been estimated by the government at about 120 million U.S. dollars.

The construction project is jointly funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and Ukraine's State Railway Company.

The tunnel is the section of the fifth Pan-European transport corridor, which passes through the territory of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko said that the Beskyd tunnel has a potential to become an important link on a modern Silk Road, boosting trade and cooperation between Asia and Europe.