The railway operators of Russia and Belarus have signed a cooperation agreement on rail traffic and the use of railway infrastructure between interchange stations.

The agreement was signed during a virtual meeting by Belarusian Railways head Vladimir Morozov and Russian Railways chairman of the board and CEO Oleg Belozerov.

The move comes as railway passenger services are set to resume between Russia and Belarus from 8 February.

In a statement, Russian Railways said that the cooperation document outlines the conditions for passenger and freight train transportation as well as procedures for the transfer of cargo, containers and wagons.

It also establishes the mechanism for maintenance of the railway infrastructure between transfer stations.

The agreement also details the technical conditions and equipment must be made available to ensure safe railway movement, the safety and health of employees and passengers as well as security of the goods among others.

Belozerov said: “I would like to thank you for the important initiative in concluding this agreement, an agreement that will take our joint work on the border areas of our two countries to a new level.”

The officials also discussed joint activities for this year during the meeting.

In October last year, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) allocated $300m loan for Russian Railways, which owns and operates the country’s integrated national passenger and freight railway network.

The funding helped Russian Railways to continue operations and preserve jobs after Covid-19 pandemic created temporary liquidity constraints.