Russia to commit $8 bln to Siberian rail upgrades

Russia on Tuesday pledged more than $8 billion to upgrade its Far Eastern rail network, backing the development of links it said were crucial to the country’s economic future.

With growth in Asian markets such as China far outpacing that of their debt-stricken European counterparts, Russia wants to improve infrastructure in Siberia to support exports to countries where demand is greatest.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the state railway monopoly would get at least 260 billion roubles ($8.35 billion) to develop its Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) and Trans-Siberian routes by 2017 and suggested the money could come from national pension and welfare funds.

“Without substantial investment in the Far East we will not achieve any of our key goals – in this case there’s no magic spell,” Medvedev told a conference on development in the country’s Far East.

*** LA RUSSIA RILANCIA LA TRANSIBERIANA ***

Il premier russo Dmitry Medvedev si è impegnato a investire entro il 2017 altri 260 miliardi di rubli (pari a circa 6,5 miliardi di euro) per modernizzare la leggendaria Transiberiana e la linea Baikal-Amur (Bam), che collegano la Siberia alla regione Pacifico-asiatica. Il miglioramento aumenterà la capacità delle due linee di 40 milioni di tonnellate di merci all’anno, che potranno incrementare le merci che arriveranno dai mercati in crescita della Cina e del resto dell’Asia.

“Senza investimenti sostanziali – ha detto Medvedev – in Estremo Oriente, non raggiungeremo i nostri obiettivi chiave: non ci sono incantesimi in questi casi”. (Reuters)

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