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    RAILWAY FREIGHT TRAFFIC BETWEEN RUSSIA AND ASIAN COUNTRIES INCREASES BY 10%

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    VLADIVOSTOK, March 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Anatoly Artyukhov).

    It has been planned to increase railway freight traffic between Russia and Asian countries by 10% in 2004, Igor Melnikov, chief of the international relations department of the Far Eastern Railway, said on Saturday.

    According to him, a traditional annual meeting of representatives of the railways and foreign trade organizations of Russia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, China, North Korea and Mongolia will open in the Moscow region on March 22.

    At the upcoming meeting it is planned to sum up the results of the joint work done, to decide on the amount of export, import and transit cargos to be carried by railway in 2004 and consider a program of measures to ensure this transportation.

    Serious attention at the meeting will be given to planning and organizing oil transportation by railway from Russia to East Asian countries, Melnikov added.

    Apart from that, it is planned to work further on the question of building the Trans-Korean Railway and linking it to the Trans-Siberian Railway, he said.

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