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NOVO-OGARYOVO, August 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun a series of meetings on the development of infrastructure of Russia’s major seaports. He stressed that clear guidelines in this sphere are necessary for the effective operation of both the national economy and integration associations.
“I propose to hold a series of meetings and conferences to discuss prospects for the development of ports in our key sea water areas,” the Russian head of state said.
He devoted the first of these meetings to the development of ports in the Azov-Black Sea basin.
“Obviously, (in the development of port infrastructure) we need to move on, move forward, to increase our capacity, taking into account the growing needs of the regions and the entire national economy, as well as the growth of export and transit traffic, including within the framework of integration associations,” Putin said, referring to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.
“We need clear-cut benchmarks for the future, linked to the plans of the national businesses, our major companies, and, of course, to the development of other means of transportation: by pipeline, rail and road,” he added.
The President complained that “after the tragic events associated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost huge, most advanced at that time port capacities for the transshipment of various cargoes and suffered serious losses in this connection, and if not losses, then it failed to receive large profit.” However, “owing to a number of projects which, at times, had to be implemented from scratch, we have managed to make a difference in general.”
Putin stated that new port facilities and terminals have been created in the Baltic, North, Black Seas, in the Far East. “As a result, over the past year alone, more than 565 million tons of cargoes were transported through Russian ports, a quarter more than at the peak of traffic in the Soviet period in 1984,” he said.