19 Feb 2024 13:10

Belarus starts renovating rail corridor to St. Petersburg ports - ministry

MINSK. Feb 19 (Interfax) - Belarus starts renovating its part of the rail corridor to St. Petersburg ports, Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Alexei Lyakhnovich said on the Belarusian state-run television channel Belarus 1 on Sunday.

"The corridor to St. Petersburg ports remains the most popular route. [...] This is because of the shorter distance, which cuts transportation costs. We are discussing an upgrade of the rail corridor to St. Petersburg with Russian colleagues so that we can increase the volumes in the coming years," Lyakhnovich said, adding, "Belarus has started upgrading the rail corridor on its end."

"Russian colleagues are planning the project in their territory, and the work is due to begin in March," he said.

"Cargo traffic will increase as a result. We expect to bring 12.5 million to 13 million tonnes of cargo to St. Petersburg by rail this year, and the amount will increase later," he said.

A highway to St. Petersburg will be renovated in 2024, Lyakhnovich said. "This is our corridor to St. Petersburg, Highway R46. There will be renovation between Lepel and Polotsk and major overhaul of the stretch to the Russian border," he said.

"Belarusian carriers transported 16 million tonnes of cargo by that route in 2023. The target for this year is 19 million tonnes. The volumes have markedly grown," Lyakhnovich said.