site.btaSofia Vows to Lobby EU Support for Skopje's Project for Railway Infrastructure Along Corridor 8
Bulgaria will lobby EU support for stepping up the construction of railway infrastructure along Corridor VIII on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Krassimir Papukchiyski said here Thursday. He was among the participants in a meeting with the heads of the infrastructure management of the two countries.
He noted that Corridor VIII is of strategic importance for the European Union, and for the development of the entire Balkan region. This transport link will enable an increase in the cargo flow from the ports of Varna and Burgas on the Bulgarian Black sea coast through North Macedonia towards Duras in Albania and on to Europe, Papukchiyski said, adding that the link will significantly improve connectivity between Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
He highlighted Bulgaria's willingness to provide expert and methodological assistance to Macedonian specialists in the preparation of feasibility studies and in the management of railway infrastructure modernisation projects financed with European funds.
The minister stressed that apart from the construction of railway infrastructure, an important element for the north-south and east-west connectivity is the construction of intermodal terminals. He said that Bulgaria will launch a procedure for the construction of an intermodal terminal in Ruse under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan by the end of 2022. He added that, according to an expert assessment, the efficiency of the transport system in North Macedonia will increase significantly if efforts are made to build additional infrastructure to serve intermodal transport on the main railway lines.
The participants in the meeting also discussed the Deve Bair railway tunnel project and the options for additional financing.