To spite Russia: why does Europe want to connect the Baltic with the Black Sea

The new Ukrainian authorities announced their readiness to participate in a mega-project, due to connect the Baltic and the Black Sea. Nezalezhnaya itself, Belarus and Poland will participate in the project. Ukrainian Prime Minister Goncharuk said that it was “absolutely real.” Yes, but is it worth it?

This idea has existed for a long time and is called E40 by the number of waterways that will have to be connected into a single transport artery. The “way from the Varangians to the Greeks-2” should begin in Polish Gdansk, and end in Ukrainian Kherson. Its total length will exceed 2000 kilometers; the Vistula, Western Bug, Pripyat and Dnieper rivers will merge.

Interest in the project is shown by the European Union, which is ready to allocate 12 billion euros for the construction of the necessary infrastructure. Most of it will fall on Poland. It is stated that the program after its implementation should create an effective transport system for the transport of people and goods without harming the environment. But how true is this?

Economic expediency

So that criticism could not be attributed to “Russian propaganda”, we turn to the Belarusian portal “Belrynok”, where a detailed analysis of this project. According to the estimates of this publication, 626 kilometers of the waterway will pass through the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The cost of work as of 2017 was estimated at a spread of 96,2-171,2 million euros. It seems to be not so much, but the publication doubts the appropriateness of even such costs. And that's why.

At first, river transport is very seriously inferior to rail and road. It affects its seasonality (rivers in the winter can freeze), the need for transshipment of goods, as well as the speed of its delivery. For comparison, the length of the road by road between Gdansk and Kherson is 1600 kilometers, rivers - more than 2000 kilometers. The non-stop barge will pass the water channel between its extreme points in 14 days, the railroad in 66 hours, the automobile in 31 hours.

Secondly, on the rivers it will be possible to transport a very limited range of goods. International carriers delivering goods from China to Europe will not be able to use the E40 due to the banal restriction on the size of ships. In particular, for the delivery of 10 thousand TEU containers it is required to charter 1 large container ship. To transport the same number of containers by river, you will need to charter already 100 barges. No one will deal with such nonsense, especially since shipping without overload will not only be cheaper, but also faster.

It turns out that with economic from the point of view, the waterway is interesting only to a very narrow circle of people who transport liquid and bulk cargoes (oil, potash fertilizers, crushed stone, etc.). In general, the project is unprofitable. Add to this the problems with the shallowing of rivers, which occurs not only in Russia but also in Ukraine, as well as the environmental risks of the Pripyat River.

So why should Europeans promote it by investing 12 billion dollars?

Political expediency

The Ukrainian political scientist Volodymyr Skachko commented rather capaciously on the situation:

After the collapse of the USSR, they talked about the Baltic-Black Sea arc, which should be an economic unifying factor, and on the other - a safety line against the "aggressive plans of Russia."

The project does not bring economic benefits, but has a pronounced anti-Russian orientation. A similar waterway already exists along the territory of our country with access to the Sea of ​​Azov. But Brussels spares no money to put together a coalition in the post-Soviet space to oppose Russia. So, "in spite of us," E40 can be implemented.
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  1. nnz226 Offline
    nnz226 (Nikolai) 15 September 2019 11: 36
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    Yes, let them build! After all, “ancient dill” dug the Black Sea, let their descendants dig at least a couple of canals between the rivers, in order to then ride on the shore with joy, which confirmed the work of their ancestors to create the whole sea!
    1. General Black Offline
      General Black (Gennady) 15 September 2019 13: 46
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      They will yell with delight:

      And hands remember! Remember hands!
  2. jury2477 Offline
    jury2477 (Yuri Vladimirovich) 15 September 2019 15: 03
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    Well, what is the matter for Russia? Have money, let them build. Let the hands hold shovels than weapons.
    1. 123 Offline
      123 (123) 15 September 2019 17: 10
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      Yes, it’s about the same thing as they have for the Nord Stream, for the South Stream, for Opal. A railway is being built through Iran and Azerbaijan (from India to Iran, goods will go by sea, then by rail). Negotiations are underway to build a canal through Iran. The length of about 700 km. These paths do not intersect, but go in approximately the same direction. Cargo transit is profitable. Why do we need, although weak, but a competitor? In addition, after the Poles have tricked the Poles into the Opal court, I consider it reasonable to make some efforts so that life does not seem wonderful and amazing to them.
  3. zenitovets Offline
    zenitovets (Ivan) 15 September 2019 20: 57
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    Yes, let Europe push money, it’s all the same money! Moreover, in Ukraine everything is stolen, as it was hundreds of times already ...
  4. pafegosoff Offline
    pafegosoff (Arkhip Pafegosov) 16 September 2019 05: 57
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    I don’t even want to argue. Definitely - FOR!
    Build tubules, buy gas, electricity for a higher price than possible.
  5. Bulanov Offline
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 16 September 2019 09: 52
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    First, a protective water moat, then a great fortress wall, and every kilometer - a watch tower to fight the people of the North. THE WINTER IS COMING!
  6. Pishenkov Offline
    Pishenkov (Alexey) 16 September 2019 10: 12
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    river transport is very seriously inferior to rail and road

    - but with all its drawbacks, water transport for a certain range of goods (part of which the author correctly mentioned) is still MUCH cheaper and more profitable. So it makes sense.
    There is a waterway through the Russian Federation, but it is much longer, longer and more difficult. And, of course, the political component is on the face.
    And as for the payback - the real payback of such infrastructural mega-projects is very difficult to calculate, but in any case, all such initiatives bring development to the adjacent regions, give work. And if it will finance the EU, then why not build? Especially for Belarusians and Ukrainians, the sheer benefit ...
    1. Bulanov Offline
      Bulanov (Vladimir) 16 September 2019 13: 57
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      And if the Russian Federation nevertheless throws the Desna waters to the Crimea and the Dnieper will become shallow?
      1. Pishenkov Offline
        Pishenkov (Alexey) 16 September 2019 20: 09
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        ... I personally more believe that the Dnieper in its entire course will end up in ... or, let’s say, on a territory that is friendly or controlled by the Russian Federation ... wink
  7. ustal51 Offline
    ustal51 (Alexander) 16 September 2019 14: 41
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    If anything, then the Dnieper is redirected ....
  8. Joe Cook Offline
    Joe Cook (Joe Cook) 16 September 2019 16: 07
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    Well, you, maybe it will become easier for them from this channel. And they will become good right away.
  9. Vkd dvk Offline
    Vkd dvk (Victor) 17 September 2019 00: 35
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    Put the father in a position that does not allow to bend and start digging the channel. The provisions of the CSTO treaty clauses do not provide for the adoption of unions and treaties directed against the interests of members of this organization.