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China-Russia join hands for $1.3 bn Crimea project
May 5, 2014, 8:08 am

Russian Black Sea fleet ships are anchored in one of the bays of Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, March 31, 2014 [AP]

Russian Black Sea fleet ships are anchored in one of the bays of Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, March 31, 2014 [AP]

China and Russia are expected to sign an agreement during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Shanghai next week for joint construction of a $1.3 billion transport corridor to Crimea via the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait.

State-run China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and the private investment fund China International Fund Ltd. (CIF) will participate in the Kremlin-backed project, say Russian media reports.

Financial and construction models are due in July. The Russian Ministry of Transportation is currently preparing a memorandum on the construction and the final plans will be revealed later this month.

The project envisages either a bridge to carry rail and road traffic, or for part of the route to pass through a subterranean tunnel.

The total project cost is estimated at 45.4 billion rubles ($1.27 billion), with China being the first foreign investor in Crimea since its accession to Russia.

China International Fund is a private investor specializing on financing infrastructure projects. It is well known for major projects in Angola and Guinea. The state-owned CRCC is one of the world’s largest construction companies, with experience in building railways, highways, bridges and tunnels.

Last month, Russia’s United Transport Directorate said that the Kerch Strait Ferry Line, linking southern Russia’s Krasnodar region with Crimea, will cease freight services in an effort to triple the capacity for passengers. Crimean Tourism Minister Yelena Yurchenko has also said the region would be ready to receive six million tourists this year.

Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev which seized power as a result of a coup in February, instead rejoining Russia following a referendum on the issue.


Source: Agencies

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