The festive opening of the ferry line connecting the port of Ust-Luga with German seaports via Baltiisk, the Kaliningrad Region, took place in Kaliningrad yesterday. The ferry came from St. Petersburg and was moored at the freshly built terminal in Baltiisk.
Speaking at the opening ceremony , Nikolai Negodov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Transportation, said that the first phase of the terminal had been built in record short time, just four months. The second phase is expected to be paid for by investors and completed in July 2003. Also beginning July, the line will be serviced by ferries sailing under the flag of Russia. However, Deputy Minister said, the future development of cargo transportation is connected with the construction of the Vostochny deep water port supposed to be able to accept railroad ferries and container carriers.
Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, Vladimir Yegorov noted that the terminal and the new Baltic seaport would not only assure the transportation-related independence of the region but were also needed because cargo flow from Russia to Europe was steadily increasing. The development was hampered by the insufficient depth and capacity of the 42-km-long sea channel. As soon as this problem is resolved Kaliningrad will become the largest import-export transshipping point on the Baltic Sea.
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