24 April 2020
In recent days, FS Italiane and the Russian Railways (RZD) have agreed to give a new, timely and strong impetus to the freight traffic between the two countries and to-and-from China.
The unprecedented grim global economic situation caused by the COVID-19 health emergency requires government bodies and businesses from all countries to work together to contribute to support the economy and civil society, ensuring the provision of efficient transport services.
Within this context, it renders the understanding between the Russian and Italian Transport Ministries—in undertaking to intensify efforts and increase the role of the rail system in freight transport—functional to industrial activities, supporting media and large-scale distribution, with particular attention to primary necessity goods.
FS Italiane and RZD had already activated cooperation agreements with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in February 2018 and in July 2016. These agreements laid the foundations for practical cooperation in a number of areas: increasing freight and logistics traffic, developing the Russian network and railway stations, and cooperation with regards to third countries. Subsequently came the creation of an operational Working Group, which also involved FS International, Italferr and Mercitalia, facilitating the quick start-up of activities to implement and start the initial projects. During the last meeting, held on 20 February 2020, the methods and fields of intervention for the development of freight and logistics traffic between Italy and Russia were identified, both as points of origin and destination and as a means of transit to-and-from China, along the “Silk Road” routes.
These activities are in addition to the joint projects already in place between RZD and the FS Italiane Group which, with its subsidiary Italferr, is contributing to the development and upgrade of the Serbian railway infrastructure. At the same time, through Italferr and Italcertifer, the Group is in the process of activating further collaborations for the development of the new “Dedicated Super Speed Routes” in Russia.