Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Russia Must Build Feeder Roads and Railways East of the Urals if It is to Benefit from Asian Trade, Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 25 – Moscow has devoted enormous effort to develop the Trans-Siberian railway and the Northern Sea Route in the hopes of benefiting from its shift toward Asia because of Western sanctions, but in doing so, it has failed to build the feeder highways and rail lines that will make those two key transportation lines successful.

            Often goods sent to Asia or purchased from countries there sit at the end of one or the other project because of the bottlenecks that have arisen because Russia has not developed the feeder highways or rail lines or the necessary bridges to move them onward in either direction, a bottleneck that Moscow has often created by failing to do just that.

            According to Yuliya Zubarik and Andrey Pronin, two leading Russian specialists on infrastructure development, that must change. Otherwise Russia will not be able to take advantage of either of these major arteries to the necessary extent (profile.ru/economy/tochka-vhoda-pochemu-v-primore-i-zabajkale-nuzhno-stroit-mosty-i-dorogi-1119408/).

            And they add that similar problems exist with secondary or even tertiary networks which could carry far more goods in both directions if only there were more feeder lines running into them. To overcome this obstacle, Zubarik and Pronin say, Russia must make a massive effort to build feeder lines, something it has seldom done adequately up to now.

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