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MOSCOW, December 23 ./ITAR-TASS/.Russia’s government will provide 3.5 million rubles (1 ruble = 32.9 dollars) to subsidize regional air transport service, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with vice-premiers on Monday.
About 700,000 passengers are expected to be carried by air in 2014 and up to 150 new routes are planning to be opened, Medvedev said.
This year the federal budget provided 1.350 billion roubles to the subsidy programme under which 180,000 passengers had been carried by air, 190,000 tickets had been sold and 54 new routes had be opened. “Such mechanism justified itself. We’ve prepared a resolution, which changes the rules for implementing the programme,” the premier said.
A program for subsidizing regional air transport service is indispensable for the Far East and Siberia. Thus, while distributing funding it is necessary to take into account specific features of the regions, he said, adding that the implementation of the programme would make it possible to increase the number of airports all round the country.
For his part, Vice-Premier Arkady Dvorkovich said the government was ready to subsidize air transport service on any routes if regions took part in co-financing.
The government’s draft resolution on subsidizing air transport service implies that the distance, which will be subsidized, will reach 2,400 km if an air hub is on the territory of the Far East Federal District, the vice-premier said, adding “If not, the distance will reach 1,200 km.”
However, if regions are ready to co-finance its participation or any route, this can be any distance. “Thus, any routes can be included in the subsidy system if regions take part in co-financing,” Dvorkovich said.