- Putin, Finland's Halonen make inaugural train journey
- Russia to launch speed train between Moscow and Helsinki
- Russia wins 2018 World Cup bid, but this is not enough
- Medvedev promises no visa requirements for 2018 World Cup
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised on Sunday new high speed rail services between the 2018 World Cup host cities.
He made his statement after joining Finnish President Tarja Halonen for an inaugural journey on the French-made high speed Allegro train linking Helsinki to St. Petersburg. The two leaders arrived in Russia's former imperial capital earlier on Sunday.
New services designed to cut journey times and run more frequently than present services will be built between Moscow, Kazan, Samara and Ulyanovsk, Putin said.
"It will be a powerful incentive for the development of high speed rail services in the European part of Russia," he said.
Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup last week, defeating bids by England, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium.
All of the 13 host cities are in the European part of the country and President Dmitry Medvedev has promised that fans will not need visas to travel to Russia for the event.
ST. PETERSBURG, December 12 (RIA Novosti)
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.