In May, against the backdrop of the unjustified Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, EUBAM joined the European Commission’s Solidarity Lanes initiative that aims at establishing and supporting alternative logistics routes between the EU and Ukraine. On the one hand, these routes guarantee the uninterrupted export of Ukrainian agricultural goods through the EU ports to the world market; on the other, they enable the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, food, fuel, etc., to all people who urgently need it in Ukraine.
On the Southern flank of the Solidarity lanes, the Republic of Moldova is now a transport hub between grain-rich Ukrainian South and the Romanian ports. To make the passage of Ukrainian cargo through the Republic of Moldova swifter and easier, EUBAM carried out the “Solidarity Lanes” exercise to identify challenges and enhance management of the increased border traffic.
In that connection, on 6 September, EUBAM team participated in the meeting between the Heads of Ukrainian Chernivtsi Customs and Moldovan Customs House “Nord”. In the same vein, on 7 September, at Ukrainian Mohyliv-Podilskyi Border Crossing Point (BCP), EUBAM experts facilitated the meeting between the heads of Vinnytsia Customs House and Moldovan Customs House “Nord”. During those meetings, the Mission’s experts shared EUBAM’s insights and proposed practical solutions to optimise the logistics and tackle overloading at the border. For instance, the Mission’s experts highlighted that passport control formalities should be prioritized for lorry drivers and suggested to better manage traffic before the BCP. EUBAM team also supported an initiative to mandate two additional BCPs for clearance of agricultural goods in the Northern sector of the Moldova-Ukraine border.
Commenting on EUBAM’s role in Solidarity Lanes and the Mission’s perspective on it, the Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor noted, “Although the UN-backed agreements partially reopened three seaports at the shores of the Odesa region for agricultural export, Ukraine’s major land and railway transport corridors remain of vital significance. Especially now, when the new crops are to be harvested and the winter is coming together with increased need in humanitarian assistance, we need to support Solidarity Lanes stronger than ever.”