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Russia-Mongolia-China transport corridor to be up and running by 2018 — minister

August 30, 18:50 UTC+3 ULAN-UDE

The Russian transport minister expects that the agreement will come into effect and will be ratified shortly by Mongolia and China

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

ULAN-UDE, August 30. /TASS/. The Russia-Mongolia-China economic corridor will open for international road transport next year, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told a seminar reviewing preparations to implement an intergovernmental agreement on international transport via the Asian network of highways.

"We expect that this agreement will come into effect and will be ratified shortly in our countries (Russia has already done this - TASS). And haulage via the Russia-Mongolia-China corridor will open already next year, in 2018," the minister said.

The transport chief said that at a meeting of senior officials from the three countries’ economic and transport ministries on Tuesday, a list of priority projects for the program was approved. Three of them cover the transport sector, the top transport official said.

"This is the development of the central railway corridor, organizing transit trucking activities on the Tianjin-Ulan Bator-Ulan-Ude route and paving a road along this route," Sokolov said.

‘Silk Road’ highway comes first

The minister told TASS that first cargoes will be transported along the highway in 2018. "The issue of obtaining bilateral and multilateral permission for hauling different types of cargoes between the countries is now under discussion. A data bank is being put together with a list of shipments that will include oil cargoes and unified containers," he added.

Sokolov stressed that Moscow’s transport policy has taken center stage nowadays within the framework of trilateral cooperation with Russia, Mongolia and China. Besides, he confirmed that the transport ministry is ready to bolster transit haulage along the corridors and routes between Russia, China and Mongolia.

In February, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke in favor of bolstering the economic corridor project. He said construction of a transport corridor linking the three countries helps support economic development and encourages Mongolia’s participation in international affairs.

The program to set up an economic corridor was signed by the leaders of the three countries within the framework of the Tashkent summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in June 2016.

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