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Moscow-Kazan high-speed railroad remains transport ministry’s priority project

December 19, 2013, 12:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This project was announced by the president at the St. Petersburg economic forum

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Minister Maxim Sokolov

Minister Maxim Sokolov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Astafyev

MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The project of a high-speed railroad between Moscow and Kazan remains a priority of the ministry of transport, which claims for financing from the National Wellbeing Fund (NWF), Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters on Thursday.

“This project, which the president announced at the St. Petersburg economic forum, remains our priority,” he said. “Thus, it requires a major support from the budget in addition to the means from the NWF.”

The minister added it would not be easy in the current budget situation to find additional sources in addition to the 150 billion rubles (about $4.5 billion) from the NWF, thus the decision was not to stop the project and the works on it.

“Those are feasibility studies, the technology audit, the routing, reserve of the lands,” the minister said.

The working group will present to the government a final model during the first quarter of the current year, and afterwards — to the president.

“So, we are not removing a priority approach to the project,” Sokolov said.

The ministry of transport has forwarded to the government a list of other projects, which may also claim for funding from the NWF. Those are railroad and car road projects. Besides, money from the NWF may be used for development of the Northern Latitude Route /a railroad, which will stretch along the Arctic coast of Russia across the entire Siberia from the east to the west/.

“As the government has not made up the list, it is too early to comment on it,” Sokolov said.

The Northern Latitude Route will provide access to the main oil and gas fields in Siberia, that are planned to be developed in the nearest future, including offshore fields. NLR will then ensure the shortest way for transportation of hydrocarbons. NLR will service 18 million tons of cargo per year. The project is prioritized in the frame of the general scheme of railway transport development in Russia till 2020.The key element of the whole project is a 707-kilometer long railroad from Salekhard to Nadym. Its construction as well as works on all other related sites should start by 2015.

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