Thursday, April 20, 2023

Moscow Slashes BAM Modernization Project by More than Half, Undermining Plans for Expanded China Trade

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 17 – In the first quarter of 2023, the Russian government has reduced the amount of its spending on construction and modernization of the BAM rail line in Russia’s far east, apparently because it has had to divert funds from such infrastructure projects because of the costs of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

            Such cutbacks are hitting infrastructure projects across the board, Russian experts say; but this one will hit Putin’s geo-economic and geopolitical plans especially hard because it will undercut Russia’s ability to increase trade with China and prompt China to use Russian routes westward ( and

            If this trend continues or even is exacerbated, it will be years before Moscow will be able to recover, a situation that will affect not only Russia’s foreign relations but the center’s relationships with its far-flung territories in Siberia and the Russian Far East, many of which are still sending far more money to Moscow than they are getting back.

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