23 Jun 2022 13:41

Freight shipping route to China with transit via Mongolia has prospects - Levitin

NOVOSIBIRSK. June 23 (Interfax) - Increasing transit via Mongolia will help boost freight exports by rail from Siberia to China, Igor Levitin, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said at the plenary session of the IX International Siberian Transport Forum on Thursday.

"We recently saw a new presentation - a route from Tuva through Mongolia to China. In today's situation, in my opinion, this is a project that needs to be given very significant attention. If we reach an agreement with our Chinese and Mongolian colleagues, we will be able to conduct a significant part of the flow that cannot leave the SFD [Siberian Federal District] through Mongolia to China," Levitin said.

Siberia has been "squeezed" between the Eastern Polygon, which is filled with cargo, and freight going eastward from the south and northwest, he said. In additional to Mongolia, Levitin pointed to the Northern Sea Route as the second direction of cargo exports with subsequent access to China.

"There is no other way to export coal, there are problems in the south, Siberian grain is a separate problem, because there is only one way of transport - by rail, it is not subsidized," Levitin said.

He added that the transport infrastructure of Siberia has always been a transit infrastructure, but the economy is now facing new challenges, due to which it is necessary to define new priorities.