«High-speed Railway»
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15 may

Silk Road is back

Eurasian Integration and Silk Road projects may add value to each other, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. The Silk Road is a Chinese project of a transport, energy and trade corridor to link Asian and European countries. In the future, almost three fourths of the global exports may go through the Silk Road. China as the world's largest producer currently ships 9 of 10 containers by sea. It is expensive and long. Besides, the Southern Sea Route through the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Red Sea and Suez Canal is vulnerable. “There is a land route, which is shorter than the traditional sea route through the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, therefore, China has many reasons to seek the infrastructure”, underlines Azhdar Kurtov, senior researcher of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). Eurasian Transport Corridor is a land alternative to the sea route. It includes the already in-service Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian lines, and a brand new future railway to run through Kazakhstan. China is willing to invest in the infrastructure. So far, the agenda includes construction of a high-speed railway line from Moscow to Kazan: the train will cover over one thousand kilometres in about three hours. A memorandum has been executed, under which Beijing undertakes to finance one third of the HSR costs. Besides, China is willing to share technologies. “China today has its own technologies developed on the basis of the world's most cutting-edge technologies. They have accumulated them, so current Chinese technologies are in fact global technologies. We can make use of them”, says Alexander Misharin, First Vice President of Russian Railways. Notably, bureaucratic work in the Eurasian Economic Union member countries has partially been done: customs borders within the Union eliminated, thus substantially speeding up freights. SCO has resolved to liberalise road transportation.

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