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Medvedev Approves 2,000 km Cross-Russia Toll Road from Belarus to Kazakhstan Borders

July 10, 2019 (EIRNS)— Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the construction of a new, toll road, the Meridian highway, across Russia, designed to significantly shorten cargo routes. The highway will stretch over 2,000 km from the Belarus border to the border with Kazakhstan, and it is expected to become part of the fastest trucking route between China and Europe. The motorway falls under China’s transcontinental trade and infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative, which Russia supports, RT reported.

The project is expected to cost around $9.5 billion. The massive infrastructure project has won the support of the Russian government, RT cites Vedomosti business daily as reporting.

While the construction will fully rely on investors’ funds, the government has pledged to assist with attracting new investment for the project, including from China. However, investors want the government to ensure their minimal revenue of around $550 million, covering political risks such as the closure of state borders, RT wrote. Given the large capacity of the highway, and that tolls will be charged for trucks and cars, the project is expected to break even in 12 years.

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