Olga Kysil

Ukraine just opened a railway tunnel to Slovakia and other EU countries.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday opened the Beskyd railway tunnel connecting Ukraine and the European Union (EU) countries.

“This project makes Ukraine closer to the EU and the EU closer to Ukraine,” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook after inaugurating the tunnel.

The tunnel in the Carpathian Mountains, which establishes a transport corridor between Ukraine’s western city of Lviv and the Hungarian and Slovak borders, will support the development of the Ukrainian economy, Poroshenko said.

The 1,765-meter-long facility, which has replaced the old single-track tunnel, is set to enhance Ukraine’s transit capacity and cross-border trade.

The construction of the tunnel worth about 120 million U.S. dollars was jointly funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and Ukraine’s State Railway Company.

The tunnel is the section of the fifth Pan-European transport corridor, which passes through the territories of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko said that the Beskyd tunnel has the potential to become an important link on a modern Silk Road, boosting trade and cooperation between Asia and Europe.