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DrMarty | February 22, 2012 at 02:31 amby
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Vladimir Yakunin, CEO of the state-owned Russian Railways company, today highlighted the commitment of Russian Railways, and Russia, to Eurasian Land-Bridge infrastructure development. He gave an interview to the English-language Russia Today TV channel, which is also being widely reported in the Russian-languge media.
Said Yakunin, ``Everyone is talking about [a] land bridge. But 'land bridge' is a terminology invented by us that means railway infrastructure providing services for customers in Europe and in Asia, mainly in China, through the territory of Russia or Kazakhstan.''
According to RT, Yakunin said that building cooperation with fellow members of the Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community, that is, Belarus and Kazakhstan, is a priority for Russian Railways and is seen as a stepping-stone to further Eurasian cooperation.
He cited the company's 400- billion-ruble investment plan in this area and the intention to set up a new logistics company to coordinate container shipping.
``And if we have this kind of joint project between Russia, Kazakhstan, Europe, and possibly China, that will be the first sample of cooperation between Europe and the Eurasian continent,'' Yakunin said.
Yakunin talked about some Russian Railways international projects being wrecked by war in the Middle East, including the Sirte-Benghazi railroad construction project in Libya, which was halted. He said that the Tabriz-Azarshahr railroad project in Iran (part of the North-South Eurasian corridor) was frozen because of UN sanctions against Iran. In Yakunin's view,
``I don't think sanctions do any good for those who impose them, or for those on whom they are imposed. We are cooperating with Iran in railway projects. Is this doing anything bad to Europe, Russia, or Iran? Of course not.''