Russian President Vladimir Putin Conducted a Video Conference during Inauguration of New Kuznetsovsk Tunnel Open for Traffic

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When New Kuznetsovsk Tunnel was inaugurated and opened for traffic on December 25, a video conference was held with participation of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Transportation minister M.Yu. Sokolov, and V.I. Yakunin, Head of OJSC “RZhD.” The head of state thanked the builders and said that the new tunnel construction project that has been completed is a good example of cooperation between businesses, state and local authorities.

Opening the new Kuznetsovsk Tunnel for traffic, the Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted the tunnel builders.

“I would like to compliment everybody who stays close to the Kuznetsovsk Tunnel right now, and I would like to underscore that one more important step was made in the right direction of consolidating the Far East transportation infrastructure. A bottleneck that deterred any further increase in the freight traffic along the Baikal – Amur Railway Line to Vanino and Sovetskaya Gavan ports has been removed, and a good start has been given to use the potentials of Far East port expansion in order to increase export shipments and to upgrade the industrial infrastructure of the eastern regions of Russia. I would like to say that everything has been done to high quality standards and on time. I want to congratulate all workers, engineers, and executives of the construction project on this high success”,

– went on the President.

“This is a good example of cooperation between businesses, state and local authorities. The total amount of financing was about 28 billion rubles. This is a high-cost and very important project.”

“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, “On behalf of all railway builders, I would like first to congratulate you on completion of this construction project that was made possible because of your support and support of the government”,

said Vladimir Yakunin, Head of OJSC “RZhD – Russian Railways.

“We are reporting from the eastern entry of Kuznetsovsk Tunnel where the first train is to set off today. As you have rightly said, this signifies a completely different situation with the shipping to Vanino and Sovetskaya Gavan Far East ports. Compared to about 19 million metric tons that we can ship now, we will be shipping 29 million metric tons after the tunnel has been put in service, and the shipping volume will increase to 36 million metric tons when the entire project has been completed 2016.”

Russian Transportation Minister Maksim Sokolov also congratulated everybody.

“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, Dear Vladimir Ivanovich, Colleagues, This is really one of the most remarkable projects in the development of the railway infrastructure of the country. It is especially important that it is one of the key projects for the development of the Far East transportation infrastructure.

Investments in the amount of 60 billion rubles had to be used as part of the project. Today, we are speaking about the first, very important part, the opening of the tunnel for traffic, which is really a key for the project”,

– said the Minister.

“The second phase, which will be working on until the year 2016, using mainly the funding by Russian Railways (we are investing here a total of 43 billion rubles out of 60 billion), includes construction of passing tracks, blockhouses and other facilities aimed at developing the access ways to Kuznetsovsk Tunnel and also construction projects located not only along the entire 21-kilometer area of this project, but also the projects along other access railroads.”

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