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Pole to head Ukrainian railway monopoly

Former chief of the Polish Railways wins job contest in Ukraine

The company Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) will be headed by a Pole Wojciech Balczun, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromavicius told reporters. He said the new railway chief was chosen among 31 applicants.

"Wojciech is young, he is super-succesful head of some of the largest Polish enterprises. First, he showed a perfect performance as leader of the largest Polish bank PKO, and then reached career heights, leading the Polish railways PKP Cargo," Abromavicius said.

Balczun took PKP Cargo with 100m zloty losses and left it with 500m in revenues. He has reformed the company, brought it to an IPO and then resigned.

In the past four years, he chaired the Supervisory Board of LOT Polish Airlines.

Balczun is also the leader of a rock band titled Chemia.

Ukrzaliznytsia is the state railway network operator in Ukraine, a monopoly that controls a vast majority of the railroad transportation in the country with a total length of track of over 23,000 km, which makes the Ukrainian railroad network the 14th largest in the world. Ukrzaliznytsia is also the world's 6th largest rail passenger transporter and world's 7th largest freight transporter. Ukrzaliznitsya is one of the largest employers in Ukraine that provides jobs for over 300, 000 employees.