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Medvedev: Russia’s government to postpone Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad project

January 16, 2014, 7:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We need to make thorough calculations and, perhaps, to wait for a more energetic economic situation,” he said
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© ИТАР-ТАСС/Александр Астафьев

MOSCOW, January 16, 7:19 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s government does not refuse from investing in the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad, but will go back to the project a bit later, where the economic conditions are more favourable, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with RBC-TV broadcaster.

“The project is not cheap,” he said. “There are different calculations, and it may be about one trillion roubles (about 30 billion dollars) - this is big money.”

“However, we do not refuse from this project,” the prime minister said. “We need to make thorough calculations and, perhaps, to wait for a more energetic economic situation.”

“Anyway, the topic of high-speed railroads is very positive, as we have regions to where planes do not fly, where regular roads are impossible, and in fact railroads are very convenient. Though expensive. We shall return to the project a bit later.”

Earlier, Russia’s Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov said the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad was the ministry’s priority project which aspiring to get financing from the National Wellbeing Fund and which in addition “requires major support from the budget, too.” Sokolov says in the current budget situation it is not easy to find additional sources of financing besides the 150 billion roubles (4.5 million dollars) from the Fund, thus the government has decided not to terminate the project and the works being done. The government will consider a final model within first three months of the current year, and then the president will see it. After that the issue of the project’s implementation will get a final decision.

The Russian government called the project of building the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad among priority infrastructure projects. The new railroad was due by 2018 - the Football Cup. In that case, trains could go at a speed of 350-400 kilometres per hour, and the time en route between the two cities could be 3-3.5 hours against the current 14 hours. In October 2013, the project’s cost was quoted at 1.068 trillion roubles (about 30 billion dollars).

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