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    LACK OF ROADS HAMPERS STEADY ECONOMIC GROWTH

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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alla Isayeva) -- Russia's need in motor roads makes an "astronomical figure" of 1.5 million km. The current length of motor roads in Russia is about 900,000 km. These figures were cited by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Yakovlev at a conference of the European Business Club devoted to Russia's transport strategy.

    The lack of good bridges across the Volga in such big cities as Kazan, Yaroslavl and Ulyanovsk is hampering effective links between Europe and Asia. Approaches to big cities, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg and other megalopolises, have become a major problem today.

    The adoption of the law on toll roads, the draft of which is being prepared by the government now, can help solve this problem, Yakovlev said. He added that, as regards Moscow, there were about a dozen projects for building toll roads, as well as companies ready to participate in these projects.

    "A poorly developed network of motor roads in Russia has a negative effect on the economy and hinders the development of the regions rich in natural resources," the deputy prime minister stressed.

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