Hungarian and Ukrainian officials have discussed proposals to build a motorway connection and open a new border crossing alongside associated border transport investments with the aim of fulfilling a long-standing aim to improve accessibility for passengers and the transport of goods.
Very few of the many proposals discussed in the last ten years have been jointly implemented, Levente Magyar, the foreign ministry’s parliamentary state secretary, told journalists after meeting Mustafa Nayyem, Ukraine’s deputy infrastructure minister, on Friday at the Beregsurány-Astei (Asztély) border crossing. “Today the Ukrainian side has expressed a real and sincere intention to speed up [its] implementation,” Magyar said.
Building the first motorway link between Ukraine and Hungary is the most important task, he said. Several tens of kilometers of motorway must be built on the Hungarian side of the border, he said, adding that on the Ukrainian side the priority was building a road section bypassing Berehove (Beregszász). Both sides will turn to the European Union for financing, he added.
Further shared tasks include the construction of a new bridge across the River Tisza at Záhony as well as opening a border crossing between Nagyhódos and Velyka Palad (Nagypalád), Magyar said. Hungary and Ukraine will seek financial support from the EU for those projects, too, he said.
The border station at Nagyhódos is a key regional and national interest, he said, adding that Ukraine was open to the project. “If we can contribute to the work on Ukrainian side, we’re prepared to do so,” the state secretary said.
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The talks also touched on the issue of grain transport by rail, Magyar said, adding, however, that further consultations were needed to discuss the technical aspects of moving a large amount of crops to Hungary. Hungary clearly intends to aid Ukraine in this aspect as well and is prepared to allocate financial resources for such a task, he said.
Nayyem said he hoped Ukraine and Hungary could finalise the opening of the new border crossing by the end of the year. He thanked Hungary for its readiness to finance the developments needed for the new border station on the Ukrainian side. Ukraine is working on a temporary solution at the Astei border crossing that will ease the burden on the other crossing points, he said. Ukraine and Hungary will send a joint request to Brussels for financial support for the upgrade of the border crossing, Nayyem added.
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