Once this resolution is adopted, the documents will be passed to the European Committee on International Transport (ECIT) and UN’s Economic Commission for Europe. The above-mentioned through-passage has already been included by the all-European organizations into the list of priority European water-transport routes.
The Belarusian Ministry of Transport presented such a project at the joint session of Danube and Rein river committees, ECIT and UN’s ECU at the end of September in Paris. Before that, in mid September, the project was approved by the governments and transport ministries of Ukraine and Poland, which certainly enhanced its chances and predetermined all-European discussion. The question is, first of all, about the reconstruction of Dnepr-Bug navigable canal connecting Belarus with Ukraine and Poland and, secondly, about modernization of the so-called “old Polish” waterway (Vistula—Narev—Oder). The final resolution on the project is to be passed at the all-European conference on new transport corridors in Europe that is to take place in Bucharest next year.
According to the estimations of the Belarusian and Polish transport ministries, the Dnepr — Bug — Vistula — Oder system can transport up to 3-3.5 mln tons of goods a year. Besides, tourist cruises can be organized along this route. By the way, more than a half of this water route goes through unique conservation areas. The Belarusian Ministry of Transport believes that this junction creates new prospects for many European countries that can start using it to carry coals, ores, metals, wood or sugar.
In progress is the reconstruction of the Belarusian-Polish August navigable canal linking up with the Baltics by the waterways of Kaliningrad region. Together with Latvia and Lithuania, the projects of navigable canals Neman — Dnepr-Bug canal and Dnepr-Daugava are being worked out. All the above mentioned projects are supported by the European Union.
And Canals Flow Their Way...
By the end of this year Danube and Rein committees are to adopt a joint resolution on the project of the Dnepr — Bug — Vistula — Oder water-transport junction