Transport minister on Russian highways

Over 60 percent of Russian highways will not be consistent with standards by 2010, Russian Transport and Communications Minister Igor Levitin declared at a government meeting today. The Russian ministers are considering a drafted program of modernization of Russian highways covering the period until 2025. The number of car accidents could increase by 40-45 percent by 2010. The length of Russian highways could decrease by fourfold. The average speed in big cities will decrease by 20 percent because of various problems. The construction of priority highways could be stopped.

Current repairs make up just 50 percent of the necessary amount, Levitin stressed. In 2003 about 35,000 people died in car accidents in Russia, and about 240,000 were injured.

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