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FT: Ukraine, Poland Boast the Most Modernized Infrastructure in Eastern Europe

KYIV, Ukraine, November 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Getting ready for hosting the major sporting event - EURO 2012 European Football Championship - Ukraine and Poland gave their infrastructure "the biggest facelift" in the region and beyond, writes Roman Olearchyk in his Nov. 9 article in the Financial Times  (FT). While three fourths of Poland's expenditures were covered by the EU funds, Ukraine built roads, hotels, and airports with its own money, reads the article.

Ukraine, however, did receive a EUR 2.2 billion loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. "The infrastructure sector will definitely remain one of our top priorities in the coming years. We should be ready to invest around 30 to 50 percent of our annual business volume in infrastructure projects," Olearchyk quotes Anton Usov, the EBRD's spokesman for Ukraine.

"We built five brand new airports in 18 months," FT correspondent quotes Borys Kolesnikov, Ukraine's deputy prime minister in charge of infrastructure. The country repaved 3,455 kilometers of roads, spending USD 5 billion of government money. Moreover, Ukraine ordered high-speed modern trains from Hyundai, South Korea, which connected all host cities and cut the travelling time by approximately 25 percent.

Construction of the roads connecting Kyiv with Poland and other EU countries is undergoing its final stage.  "The focus is now on building new roads connecting to eastern cities and Russia," commented Ukraine's Kolesnikov. In Poland, the government is set to build about 3,000 kilometers of new highways, which would connect Warsaw with the German border, and the south of the country from Germany to Ukraine. The third artery will run all the way from Polish Gdansk to the Czech border.

To continue with its infrastructure reform Ukrainian government aims to turn its airports into a major east-west hub. This may provide another opportunity for private investors when the concession rights to Boryspil Kyiv airport go on tender. By holding similar tenders in other public areas the country plans to diversify its state owned railroad with private passenger railway operators; same can be said about 14 government river and sea ports.

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