On Friday, January 15, Ukraine launched a pilot container train to China via a new Silk Road bypassing Russia, which will significantly increase the volume of cargos to Asia.
The trial train departed from Illichivsk port running across Ukraine - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Kazakhstan - China route(through the Caspian Sea and Black Sea) – via the new direction of "Silk road". It includes ferries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (Illichivsk - Batumi and Alat - Aktau Port). The container train consists of 20 wagons and will deliver cargo from Ilichivsk to Dostyk (China) within 11-12 days.
The new route is an alternative that would allow redirecting cargo flows in the eastern direction bypassing the territory of the Russian Federation, which completely stopped transit of any goods originating from Ukraine through its territory, regardless of the country of final destination.
The day before, on January 14, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine signed a protocol on the establishment of feed-in tariffs for cargos viathe Trans-Caspian international transport route. The document provides for comprehensive measures to facilitate the movement of trains on the route and increase the cargo turnover.
The volume of transportation of goods between Ukraine and the People's Republic of China in 2015 made up 25.48 million tons, which is 2.25 million tons or by 11% more than in 2014. This is a record figure for the last 10 years. Today China ranks the first place in export traffic from Ukraine, relegating Russia to the second position (from the first position over the last 5 years) - 15.9 million tons.