The governments of Canada, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine will cooperate to help rebuild Kyiv’s “war-ravaged transport systems and develop new international trade links”. The initiative, called Common Interest Group for Ukraine (CIG4U), will focus on two pillars: coordinate support for Ukraine’s immediate transport-related material needs and provide analytical support for the longer-term rebuilding of Ukraine’s transport links.
The CUG4U will initially have a duration of two years, as the International Transport Forum (ITF) mentioned. When it comes to Ukraine’s immediate needs, “CIG4U will act as a platform to exchange information about the transport and infrastructure needs identified as urgent by the Ukrainian government”. In other words, the group will focus on aspects such as immediate repairs and replacement materials.
Concerning the second pillar, the group will review the transport sector in Ukraine and will provide Kyiv with recommended policies and infrastructure plans. About 20 projects have already been identified and will now be prioritised by Ukraine, the ITF stated. The first one, which will be funded by the Canadian government, will “identify pathways to sustainability for Ukraine’s road and rail freight sectors”.
The CIG4U project
The CIG4U initiative was launched in the context of the ITF, an inter-governmental organisation within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development system. It will be funded by Canada, Lithuania and Sweden, but they specified that “other ITF member countries are invited to join the CIG4U”. The project was unveiled on Friday, 15 December by representatives of the parties involved, who all met in Kyiv. The signatories were Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Sweden’s Minister of Infrastructure, Andreas Carlson, Lithuania’s Minister of Transport and Communication, Marius Skuodis, Canada’s Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez and ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim.
ITF also provided a calendar with the next key dates for the project. The first co-ordination meeting at the vice-minister level will be held on 29 January, while working meetings at the senior civil servant level will take place between February and March. On 10 April, an ITF High-level Dialogue on Ukraine at the minister level will occur in Vilnius, Lithuania. Finally, on 22 May there will be a Special Ministers’ Roundtable on Ukraine during the Annual Summit of Transport Ministers organised by the ITF in Leipzig, Germany.