Belarus, Poland to discuss Dnieper-Wisla-Oder restoration project
Belarus and Poland are planning to discuss possible cooperation areas in the Dnieper-Wisla-Oder waterway restoration. The agreement was reached during a session of the Belarusian-Polish transport commission, BelTA learnt from Sergei Negrei, head of the foreign economic activity department of the Ministry for Trade and Communications of Belarus.
Sergei Negrei said that the two sides outlined preliminary topics for a session of experts in 2009. In Q1 2009 the session will highlight the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement on the internal navigation, prospects for joint cooperation within the framework of the Dnieper-Wisla-Oder project.
At the session of the commission held in Minsk Belarus and Poland expressed interest in cooperation in all types of transport - railway, motor, air, internal water and in the area of motorway construction. "We have reviewed the work in all types of transport and outlined cooperation prospects for the next year, discussed issues of the bilateral collaboration and also moot points related to the VAT levying on the imported fuel in tanks, some other issues," the head of the department said.
The Belarusian-Polish transport commission was set up in late November 2008 within the framework of the joint economic cooperation commission. From the Belarusian side the transport commission has been headed by First Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications Nikolai Verkhovets.
It has been earlier informed that the preliminary cost to renovate the waterways of Poland and Belarus will near $150-200 million. The major expenditure will fall on Poland as the internal waterways of Belarus is fit for freight hauls, in particular, the Dnieper-Bug Canal, the rivers Pripyat and Dnieper. The river Bug in Poland is almost innavigable. It needs new hydrosystems with navigation locks. The technical freight capacity makes up four million tonnes. The reconstruction will let the capacity double - up to eight million tonnes.