Ukraine says it will for the first time ship goods to Kazakhstan along a route bypassing Russia, due to the Kremlin's trade embargo on Kyiv.
Russia this month slapped fresh sanctions on Ukraine in response to its decision to enter a much disputed free-trade and political Association Agreement with the European Union.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Andriy Pyvovarskiy said on January 13 that “experimental" deliveries via Georgia and Azerbaijan would be shipped to Kazakhstan on January 15.
"This Silk Road will not only give Ukrainian goods alternative access to markets in which we have historically been very strong, but also create a new [trade] route between Asia and Western Europe," Pyvovarskiy said in televised remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
The Dutch international banking corporation ING predicts that Ukraine will become Kazakhstan's third-largest source of imports by 2017.
ING said the energy-rich Central Asian nation primarily imports Ukrainian vehicles and transport equipment.
Pyvovarskiy did not disclose what would be shipped to Kazakhstan via the two Caucasus nations this week.