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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Plans to build a bridge from mainland Russia to the Sakhalin Island are revived but the decision has not yet been taken, President Vladimir Putin said during the annual televised question and answer session on Thursday.
"Such ideas [to construct a bridge to Sakhalin - TASS] were already in place long time ago, as far back as in 1950s... However, these plans have not been implemented. We are dealing with revival of these plans now and are thinking over this problem," Putin said.
The price of the bridge to Sakhalin should be lower than for the bridge to Crimea, the head of state said. "About 286 bln rubles ($5 bln), according to preliminary estimates," Putin said. These funds will not be enough because a single bridge crossing is not sufficient, he added. "Approach ways are also needed there; an interchange of the whole road complex is required. By the way, ideas were in place to build a tunnel, rather than a bridge, which is also possible. The decision has not been taken yet but we are considering it," the Russian president said.
Construction of the bridge between the Sakhalin Island and the mainland can be a breakthrough for the regional economy, governor of the Sakhalin Region Oleg Kozhemyako told TASS in a comment on bridge plans revival.
"We are delivering consumer goods, construction materials and foods by sea. These are extra costs. This is a burden for the price of goods and services," the governor said. Construction of the bridge will exert influence in economic terms and the delivery speed will influence on products quality, he added.
Sakhalin is the only island region in Russia, dynamically developing and requiring attention, the governor said. "The region neighbors on Japan. Connection of Sakhalin to the mainland can become the first part of the project on creation of an onshore route to Japan also. The Sakhalin Region is ready to take part in development of required infrastructure," Kozhemyako added.