Russia-China: SARS-locked frontier to re-open

Top officers of frontier cities-Russia's Blagoveschensk and Heihe of China-are launching talks to re-open a SARS-locked frontier along the Amur river.

Led by governor Leonid Korotkov, a delegation of the Amur Region is starting for China tomorrow to meet a host delegation headed by Chao Hsueli, mayor of Heihe, report Amur gubernatorial PR.

The negotiators will evaluate prospects to re-open the frontier, closed toward end of April with the epidemic. Mr. Korotkov will see Heihe checkpoints, railway station and quarantine premises, and analyse municipal disease-prevention activities.

SARS is keeping away from the Heilongjiang province for now, reassure Chinese authorities. A man of Blagoveschensk recently laid up on SARS suspicion does not have the fatal virus, say his doctors.

The frontier closure stopped visa-free trips of either country's nationals, locked a majority of checkpoints and suspended air and river transport to bad economic detriment of the Amur Region and Heilongjiang alike.

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