On Wednesday in Trakai, President Gitanas Nausėda addressed a High-Level Dialogue of the International Transport Forum (ITF), currently presided over by Lithuania, on support for Ukraine.

“Together we share an important mission—to rebuild Ukraine’s transport and communications sector. The journey towards full recovery has just begun. And Ukraine will take a long time to heal. But we must start as quickly as possible, without waiting for the war to end,” the President spoke.

The Head of State thanked the participants of the high-level meeting taking place at Užutrakis Manor in Trakai—transport ministers and foreign delegates from more than 20 countries, as well as representatives of the ITF, the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other international organizations—for the attention and support they have shown to Ukraine at this crucial time.

Gitanas Nausėda pointed out that Russia’s war of aggression has already caused more than €40 billion worth of damage to Ukraine’s transport infrastructure. Ukraine’s shipping sector, its seaports, aviation and air navigation infrastructure, rail and road links have suffered particularly heavy damage.

According to the Head of State, international cooperation has enabled Ukraine to maintain critical capacities in the transport sector during the war. The efforts of the international community have resulted in Russia lifting its blockade of Ukrainian ports, which has made it possible to resume the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products, while the solidarity lanes with the European Union countries have helped to secure food supplies for Ukraine itself. Lithuania has also contributed by creating a corridor for Ukrainian grain exports through the Port of Klaipėda.

“I am grateful to all ITF countries, who engage in various platforms to help Ukraine to cover its immediate needs. Yet Ukraine also requires long-term transformative projects. It needs assistance to build back better, to develop more resilient and future-proof infrastructure and services,” Gitanas Nausėda underlined.

The President congratulated all ITF countries, as well as business and financial institutions, which are joining the CIG4U platform of cooperation and support for Ukraine, launched at the end of 2023 by Lithuania, Sweden, Canada, and Ukraine, which enables the exchange of up-to-date information on the urgent needs of the transport system in Ukraine, and contributes to the long-term reconstruction projects of the country’s transport links.

The Head of State stressed that the participants of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Summit and Business Forum, which will be held in Vilnius on Thursday, will also focus on the reconstruction of Ukraine and the development of transport infrastructure across the region.

The Three Seas Initiative brings together thirteen EU Member States between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, namely, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Greece. The strategic partners are the USA, Germany, and the European Commission. A new strategic partner, Japan, is expected to join the initiative during the 3SI Summit in Lithuania.