The Ukrainian-Romanian border: revitalization after the stagnation

The full-scale war in Ukraine has become the cause of the worst events in its history since achieving independence. Still, at the same time, the airspace closure for civil aviation and the effective maritime blockade of its ports have become a prerequisite for a swift quest to improve the capabilities of Ukraine’s land ‘gateway’. Launched in May 2022, the EU’s Solidarity Lanes initiative helped create alternative logistics routes and urgently eliminate border transport delays. The joint Ukrainian-Polish Open Border project helped develop ad hoc solutions to increase the capacity of border crossing points between the two countries.

But the most tangible progress in the development of border crossing points (hereinafter — bcp) and improvement of bilateral trade conditions occurred in the Romanian direction, where stagnation had been observed for many years.

How did the Ukrainian-Romanian border develop before the invasion? What factors facilitated and hindered the development of border infrastructure? What has changed since the outbreak of full-scale war, and can the experience of the Ukrainian-Romanian border be used to develop borders with other states? This paper is an attempt to analyze these questions based on the data accumulated over the year since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, observations, and interviews with the key Ukrainian-Romanian border stakeholders.

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