New border checkpoint between Romania and Ukraine

The Romanian PM Nicolae Ciucă and his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Şmyhal have inaugurated a new border checkpoint between the two countries

On Thursday, Romania inaugurated a new checkpoint at its border with Ukraine, in the village of Vicovu de Sus, the north-eastern county of Suceava. Another three checkpoints are currently operational in northern Romania, in Siret, Sighetu Marmatiei and Halmeu. “The opening of a new border checkpoint with Ukraine mirrors the good ties and the solidarity between the two countries,“ said Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca, who took part in the event alongside his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Smyhal. The new check point in Vicovu de Sus – Krasnoilsk is the first one opened since 1999 and will facilitate, according to PM Ciuca, the transit of persons and goods between the two countries and further to the EU countries.

Ciuca said that Ukraine needs more than ever the solidarity of the European community, a community that believes in freedom and in the sovereign right of every state to decide its own future. Nicolae Ciuca: “The movement of people and goods is vital for Ukraine at this moment. Through the Romanian transport infrastructure – the rail, road and water via Constanta and Galati ports – more than 6.5 millions tons of wheat have been exported from Ukraine. There are plans for the opening of more border checkpoints and also plans at EU level (…) for a coherent development of these facilities. “

In his turn, the Ukrainian PM thanked Romania for its support and emphasized the importance of opening new border checkpoints. He said that the one recently inaugurated had been decided ever since 2012, through an intergovernmental accord, and that setting up another seven border checkpoints between the two countries is planned. Denys Smyhal: “Our meeting today, the opening of this checkpoint, show our countries’ close ties and confirm our path towards the EU integration. We have met at a very difficult time for Ukraine, when the aggressor destroys the country’ s entire critical infrastructure, now when winter is drawing near. We are grateful to Romania for supporting Ukraine’ s territorial integrity and sovereignty. “

The opening of the border checkpoint in Vicovu de Sus  takes place against the background of intensified Russian bombing and of warnings over a possible evacuation of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Transit through the Ukrainian-Romanian checkpoints has been difficult ever since the start of the Russian invasion, on February 24. At the time, refugees waited in endless queues for days, to cross the border to Romania, through the Siret checkpoint

(Mihai Pelin, Radio Romania International)