The ferry line for transporting automobiles, passengers, and cargos between the port of Baltiisk, the Kaliningrad Region, and St. Petersburg will become operational on January 1, 2003. This is according to the statement made at a press conference by Russia's Prime Minister, Mikhail Kasyanov. The press conference followed a meeting on the development of transportation in the Kaliningrad Region.
Discussed at the meeting were the construction and operation of a ferry terminal near the Baltic Fleet station leased by the Ministry of Defence to the Ministry of Transportation of Russia for the following 15 years. The construction involves piers, an automobile access way, and a passport and customs control point. The line will be serviced by the Rus ferry capable of carrying 40 tractor trailers, 70 passenger cars, and about 400 passengers at a time.
Also discussed was the construction at the Vostochny (Eastern) Peninsula near the town of Baltiisk of a deep water seaport and another ferry terminal to handle, among others, railway ferries. The ferries will service the line between Ust-Luga, the Leningrad Region; Baltiisk; and the seaports of Germany.
At the meeting, the involved ministries and agencies were told to speed up the financing of the work, which, among the other things, includes the modernisation of the Khabarovo airport, the construction of federal highways, etc.
Mr. Kasyanov said the project was done to assure uninterrupted communication between the Kaliningrad Region and mainland Russia now that the region becomes surrounded by the member countries of the European Union.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said