Far East development program implemented at good pace

The Russian governmental program on social and economic development of the Far East was suspended, but now it is reviving and is being implemented at a good pace, Russian presidential plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern Federal Region Konstantin Pulikovsky said at a news conference held on Thursday to sum up the year 2002.

According to him, the major event both for Russia and for the neighboring countries was the completion of the Trans-Siberian railway electrification, which makes it possible to establish an international transport corridor, increase freight flow from the Asia-Pacific Region to Europe and ensure high train speed and reliability of shipping operations.

"The construction of the Bureisk hydroelectric power station is regularly funded," Pulikovsky noted. "We are sure to meet the schedule and launch the first system on June 30th, 2003. The Russian President has been invited and said he would attend the opening ceremony." According to Pulikovsky, in 2002 the biggest fertilizer transfer terminal in Russia was launched. An automobile bridge across the Bureya River, which was navigable only in summer for ferry-boats, has been put into operation. The Chita-Khabarovsk highway bed has been filled and is now ready to receive transit traffic.

About $1bln (over 30mln Euros) have been allocated to implement the 2003 program, Pulikovsky said. According to him, "this sum is enough to launch new projects and plan the 2004 spending." But it is not enough to tackle all the issues of economic and social development of the Far East.

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