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Vietnam’s railway freight transport to Europe affected by Russia – Ukraine conflict

Vietnam’s railway freight transport to Europe affected by Russia – Ukraine conflict International railway freight transport between Vietnam and Europe along the route through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany and Western European countries is likely to be affected if railways from Poland to Belarus stop operation, according to an official from the Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR).

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency related to impacts caused by the Russia – Ukraine conflict, Vuong Kha Son, head of the VNR’s transport department said the transport of goods to Europe transiting Russia also faces the same problem, but freight transport from Vietnam to Russia will not be affected.

According to the VNR, the director general of the International Union of Railways (UIC) has sent letters to its members to inform that UIC had suspended the membership of Russia and Belarus. This means that the Russian and Belarusian railways cannot participate in the union’s activities or benefit from its services.

Vietnam initially planned to organise a train to transport containers from the central city of Da Nang to Europe in early March but the plan has been shelved due to the conflict.

Currently, railway freight transport between Vietnam and China still remains normal, with high volume of container transport from China to Vietnam.

Statistics of the VNR show nearly 1.16 million tonnes of goods were transported abroad by trains in 2021, surging 34 percent compared to the same period last year.

Of note, the Dong Dang railway station of the northern border province of Lang Son witnessed increases of 82 percent in the volume of goods in the fourth quarter of last year.

Vu Anh Minh, Chairman of the Board of Members of the VNR said the railway sector will shift to freight transport in the coming time to compensate for the decline in passenger transport, focusing on promoting international transportation between Vietnam and China, and to third countries such as Russia and those in Europe and Central Asia.

Last year, VNR launched a direct railway route from Vietnam to Belgium, and trains transporting containers to China’s cities, Minh said./.