Saakashvili wants New Silk Road to run across Ukraine
Odesa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili told Ukraine's TV Channel 5 that the New Silk Road might run across Ukraine to handle freight moving to Europe from China, but a bridge and a highway need to be built first, according to Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.
"Our plans now include the New Silk Road. Now logistics take 30 days if transported via Russia, but it will take up to nine days via Illichivsk [port]. Everything is available there. And large flows need to be attracted. And it's possible to attract. A flow will go if a highway heading for Reni, i.e. the European Union, is built. Then a large bridge across the Dniester Firth needs to be built for no one could cut Bessarabia away. We're already working on this," Saakashvili said in an interview with Channel 5.
He also mentioned the adoption of a law on highway concession as a precondition for the New Silk Road.
Channel 5 footage
As was reported, Chinese banks have shown readiness to invest funds in New Silk Road infrastructure.
The New Silk Road, or the Belt and Road Initiative, was offered by China to recreate an ancient route as a massive free trade zone in Eurasia with the creation of a single system of infrastructure and trade routes to link the eastern and western parts of the continent.