Russia considers shelving one of its major projects in recent history

The Russian authorities question the expediency of implementing a major project in Russia's modern history - the construction of a high-speed railway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The project is likely to be shelved to never materialise, The Kommersant newspaper wrote. 

According to the newspaper, the option to either cancel the plans to build the high-speed railway or postpone them is being discussed at the level of the government. The project was in particular discussed at a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, following which it was recommended to work out a number of issues.

In the near future, the Russian Railways will have to re-evaluate the project, taking into account instructions from President Vladimir Putin, as well as prospects for the development of freight traffic in the direction of the ports of the North-Western Basin.

In addition, the draft protocol of the meeting, which the publication referred to, mentioned optimization of the project for the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg railway line with the participation of largest consignors.

As an alternative, the high-speed railroad can be replaced with a dedicated freight route between the two largest cities of the country. The Russian Railways insists on this particular option. 

The plans to build the high-speed railway between Moscow and St. Petersburg were announced in August. In September, the project was included in the preliminary draft federal budget for 2022-2024. The construction was supposed to be completed by 2027, and the new railway would subsequently be integrated with the third Moscow Central Diameter (MCD).