NEWSWATCH: “Russia to spend $2.5 bln on Trans-Siberian, Baikal-Amur railroads. Investment is first stage in expanding railroad capacity to increase exports from Far East Russia.” – Asia Times

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“Russian [sic] has approved US$2.5 billion to expand and modernize the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways as part of a larger rail project to boost economic growth and exports from the country’s Far East region that borders the Pacific Ocean. … Putin has given the green light for the government to allocate money from the National Welfare Fund for this stage of the railway expansion project, which could eventually cost $9.5 billion.  Russian Railways (RZD) will cover $5.1 billion of the total cost of the project, which was first approved by the government’s transport commission back in 2014. The state will foot the rest of the bill. * * * The Trans-Siberian Railway … run[s] about 9,288 km to connect Moscow and Vladivostok. … built over 25 years from 1891 to 1916. …”

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