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Truck drivers in west Russia block highway to demand federal levy cancellation

November 11, 2015, 12:33 UTC+3 BELGOROD

The drivers will go on strike if the levy of $0.05 per kilometer for trucks over 12 tons using federal highways is not cancelled

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

BELGOROD, November 11. /TASS/. Over 150 trucks are staying on the Moscow-Crimea highway in the Belgorod Region in west Russia as drivers are demanding a federal levy cancellation, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene on Wednesday.

The trucks have left only one lane for traffic in each direction and no heavy traffic jams can be seen at present. The drivers are demanding that the Russian government should cancel a levy for using federal highways. The truckers have said that otherwise they will go on strike from November 15.

"Our main demand is that the Russian government should cancel its levy in the amount of 3.5 rubles ($0.05) per km, which the drivers of trucks weighing 12 tons and more have to pay for using federal highways," action coordinator in the Belgorod Region Sergey Korotkov told TASS.

"Today more than 150 Belgorod drivers have gathered and this is only 30% of those who are really suffering from the government’s new levy in our region alone," he added.

The system of charging a levy for the use of federal highways has not been tested and truck drivers will face huge penalties, even if some minor faults in the system emerge, the coordinator said.

Besides, authorities have failed up to now to give truck drivers devices for truck traffic control, he added.

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