Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday requested parliament to approve the Russian Federation’s biggest ever investment programme. In the period 2010-2015, Russia plans to the invest 13 trillion RUB (550 billion USD) in infrastructure development all over the country.
Speaking at the exhibition “Russian Transport 2008” taking place in Sochi, Mr. Putin said that the underdeveloped Russian transport system today is a major obstacle to Russian economic growth and that it hinders the country’s innovative development.
The investment programme presented by the premier includes 13 trillion RUB, among them 4,7 trillion from the federal budget, to infrastructure development over the period 2010-2015. More than 17,000 km of federal, regional and local roads, and more than 100 air fields will be built or upgraded in the period. The joint capacity of Russian sea ports will be boosted to more than 400 million tons per year.
In addition, more than 3000 km of new railway lines will be constructed.
Putin said that the programme will have a major focus on the regions. –Our transport system has not really yet become a united organism, Putin said, adding that the current situation “suits nobody”.
He also said that the infrastructure upgrade will help reduce the number of casualties on Russian roads. Currently about 30,000 Russians every year die in the traffic, and more than 300,000 are hurt.
The prime minister expressed confidence that the improved Russian transport system will help boost imports and exports to the country. Today, only about one percent of trade turnover between Asia and Europe goes through Russia. The capacity is five or even ten times bigger, Putin stressed.