KIEV, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The first cargo train en route to China departed Friday from Ukraine's southern port city of Illichivsk along the famed Silk Road via Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
"The launch of this train is the result of many years of work. We have managed to build normal partnership relations with all countries along this route," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko said during the ceremony to mark the launch of the train service, which is carried out on an experimental basis.
He hoped that establishing of the train service connection would help boost Ukraine's trade ties with China and other countries along the route.
The 10-car train service, with 20 containers, will first be ferried to Georgia. It will then shift to rail to Azerbaijan and from there switch back to ferry to Kazakhstan before changing to rail and reaching China.
The entire journey of the train will take 11-12 days.