The United Kingdom and Ukraine this week announced a “landmark” joint action plan designed to help Ukraine rebuild its transport infrastructure once the conflict comes to an end. The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure issued a statement on Thursday revealing how the “historic pact” between the two countries sees them “sharing engineering expertise.”
Following an online meeting between British Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps and Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, during which the two government officials discussed the state of Ukraine’s train network, bridges, and roads, the two countries agreed to work together to restore the infrastructure entirely.
Britain’s private sector will assist greatly in the new plan, starting with five buses that will be sent by the Go Ahead Group. The buses will be used to help reconnect Ukrainian towns and cities, while also purchasing equipment that will help Ukraine rebuild damaged routes that are critical for the export of grain.
The promise comes after outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid what could be his last visit to Ukraine as a world leader. During the trip, Johnson pledged a fresh 54 million GBP package for Ukraine, which will see new anti-tank ammunition and drones sent to the country.
What Will Ukraine Offer In Return? Analysis of the Issue
While much of the burden will be on the United Kingdom to help Ukraine financially and logistically, there is some economic incentive for the UK to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure.
According to the Ukrainian government’s latest statement, the rebuilding of Ukrainian roads and transport infrastructure will support the Black Sea Grain Initiative. As one of the biggest exporters of grain in the world, Ukraine will be given vital support to maintain its agriculture sector and to continue producing grain that is shipped from its ports in the Black Sea.
“This will support the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows the safe passage of grain, food and fertiliser exports out of Ukraine in protected shipping corridors. So far, the initiative has freed 721,449 metric tons of goods from three Ukrainian ports,” the statement explains.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps expressed hope that the plan would help Britain’s business prospects abroad.
“In the UK we have some of the best transport experts in the world and sharing this with Ukraine will not only help them rebuild – but will boost the profile of UK businesses on a global scale,” Shapps said.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.