VLADIVOSTOK, September 9 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia wants to become a new global transit route connecting Europe and the countries of the Far East, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.
The country's transportation network, including the Transsiberian railroads and the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic, offer unique opportunities for transit of goods across the globe, Putin said at the APEC summit in Vladivostok.
The APEC countries support Russia's efforts to improve its Siberian transportation routes, increasing cargo traffic, Putin said.
Although the Siberian railroads and the Arctic sea route could significantly speed up cargo shipping, they lack the infrastructure, including ports on the Arctic coast.
Inefficient customs are also a constraint, and the Baikal-Amur Mainline railroad needs an expansion priced at around 730 billion rubles ($23 billion), or more than the cost of the APEC summit in Vladivostok, which included construction of some 50 infrastructure objects across the region.
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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.