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    BAIKAL-AMUR RAILWAY TO CONNECT YAKUTSK WITH REST OF RUSSIA

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    VLADIVOSTOK, February 2, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ - The Russian railway ministry is ready to become a state commissioner for the new 800-km stretch of railway from the station of Neryungri at the Baikal-Amur trunk line to Yakutsk, capital of Sakha-Yakutia (an autonomous republic of Russia in East Siberia). Railway Minister Vadim Morozov broke the news on Monday at the meeting with management of the Far East Railway in Khabarovsk.

    The project will allow connecting Yakutia with all regions of Russia by reliable and cheap transport by 2010 (at present Yakutsk can be reached only by plane or by road, which is heavy for some part of a year because of snow drifts), RIA Novosti learned in the Railway's press center on Monday.

    According to Morozov, it is necessary to continue fulfilling large-scale projects in the Far East to develop the Chineiskoye polymetallic field and the Elginskoye coal field, to lay the Trans-Korean trunk line that will connect West Europe with South Korea via the Trans-Siberian railway.

    "The Russian Railway have already had positive experience of attracting investors to build railways, so here we see a prospect of non-standard financing of reconstruction of the Trans-Korean trunk line", the minister pointed out.

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