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Restoration of the E40 Waterway: From Strategy to Planning


Thanks to the project, a feasibility study assessing the factors and conditions of the restoration of the E40 waterway will be prepared. Passing through Belarus, Poland and Ukraine, this trade and transportation route connects the ports of Gdansk and Kherson at the Baltic and Black Seas respectively.




“This water artery comprises four rivers: the Vistula, Bug, Pripyat and Dnieper. The overall length of this connection, created at the end of the 18th century, is more than 2000 kilometres. But today its section on the Bug river, between Warsaw and Brest, is unnavigable. The project should bring a clear understanding how to resume navigation,” – Nikolai Kotetski, Head of RUMCE Dnepro-Bug Waterway.




The hydrotechnical constructions at the Belarusian and Ukrainian sections of the E40 waterway live up to the high standards under the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance. However, the E40 waterway has no navigable connection between the Vistula (Poland) and the Dnieper-Bug Canal (Belarus) due to bottlenecks, meanders and rifts on the Polish section of the Bug River.

The restoration of the E40 waterway will boost the economies of Belarus, Poland and Ukraine, and more specifically, of their neighboring border regions:

Finally, shipping cargo via the E40 will be ecological: CO2 emissions (per a ton-km) from inland water transport are 1.5 times less than from railway transport and 5 times less than from road freight transport.


Photos provided by Dnepro-Bug Waterway










The length of the canal will be around 160 kilometers, while the construction works will cost around 2 billion euro. (The European Union is expected to provide the bulk of the funding.) Learn more


The comments and proposals voiced by the environmental organizations were included in the Resolution for Support of Measures Aimed at the Restoration and Development of the Main Waterway of International importance E40. Specifically, the document contains separate points calling to conduct a thorough evaluation of possible negative environmental impacts for the entire E40 connection and present measures how to tackle them. Learn more

Despite adopting the Resulition, which is the final document of the project, the experts from the consortium headed by the Maritime Institute in Gdansk will be continuing their work in 2016 and should conduct a more careful scrutiny of the environmental and economic issues related to the E40 waterway, until unequivocal conclusions are reached. 

The Commission on the Development of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section will also continue its work until when an intergovernmental agreement on the status of the E40 waterway is signed between Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine.


“In 2013, only 0.3% of the total freight (768 mln. tons) were carried via the inland waterways in Poland. And in 2003, this figure was 0.8%. Therefore, it is very important to support initiatives aimed to improve the inland waterway transport in Poland, as well as in the neighboring countries. Reactivation of the E40 waterway can accelerate the socio-economic development in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia,”  Dr. Katarzyna Świerczewska-Pietras, member of the Commission on the Development of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section.







Belarusian partners: Republican Unitary Maintenance and Construction Enterprise Dnepro-Bug Waterway (lead partner), Interakcia Foundation, Brest Regional (Oblast) Executive CommitteePolish partners: Marshal Office of Lublin Voivodeship, Association for Regional and Local Development Progress; Ukrainian partners: Volyn Regional Department of Water Resources, Volyn Association of Scientists and Innovators.




Overall objective: To contribute to greater economic attractiveness and transport accessibility of the Polish, Belarusian and Ukrainian border regions through successful implementation of Phase 1 “Analysis and preparation” and preparation to Phase 2 “Planning” and Phase 3 “Construction” of the big-scale infrastructure project on restoration of an important international waterway E40 on the section Dnieper – Pripyat – Dnerpo-Bug waterway – Muhavets – Zapadniy Bug – Vistula.

Specific objectives:

1. To develop and approve on all levels one priority scenario of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway restoration that would consider the interests of all stakeholders in the sphere of transport development in border regions and would be developed in cooperation with them.

2. To raise awareness of  the priority scenario of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway restoration on the regional, national and European level.

3. To lay down institutional foundation for implementation of further activities aimed at restoration of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway with involvement of all stakeholders.




Cross-border Cooperation Program Poland - Belarus - Ukraine 2007-2013 was approved by the European Commission on November 6, 2008. The core objective of the program is support for cross-border development processes. The program objectives are realized through non-commercial projects implemented within the following priorities:

Priority 1. Increasing competitiveness of the border area.

Priority 2. Improving the quality of life.

Priority 3. Networking and people-to-people cooperation.

Learn more




Andrei Rekesh, Secretary of the Commission on the Development of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section

+ 375 44 785 13 58 (mobile); +375 165 30 11 76 (tel./fax);

Marina Borisova, Project Communication and Visibility Manager, Deputy Head of Interakcia Foundation

+ 375 29 873 35 82 (mobile); + 375 17 237 48 40 (tel./fax);

Anna Razhentsova, PR Manager

+ 375 44 758 88 15, + 375 29 509 28 48 (mobile); + 375 17 334 24 76 (tel.);