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    PUTIN BELIEVES THE OPENING OF THROUGH PASSAGE ALONG CHITA-KHABAROVSK ROUTE IS A MAJOR EVENT FOR RUSSIA

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    KHABAROVSK, FEBRUARY 26. (RIA NOVOSTI.) Russian president Vladimir Putin believes that the opening of the through passage along the Chita-Khabarovsk route is a major event not only for the Russian Far East but also for the whole country.

    "This is the second important event after the opening of Transsib," Vladimir Putin said at an opening ceremony in Khabarovsk.

    "From now on the west and east of Russia are reliably connected," the president stressed.

    According to him, the issues of the transport infrastructure are very important, especially for the Russian east.

    |Putin thanked the builders of the route and said that its opening is their merit .

    On its part, governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Viktor Ishayev reported that today, for the first time in the history of the Far East the region had become connected with Russia's west.

    "A very good railroad passage has been built, the automobile bridge over the Amur river," Ishayev said. "The fact that Vladimir Putin personally supervised the building has been felt immediately, and the rates of building were high," the governor added.

    Before the beginning of the opening ceremony the deputy transport minister Igor Slyunyayev told the President that in early February he personally went along this route and thinks that the average speed there is 85 km/h.

    Taking part in the ceremony was acting transport minister of Russia Sergei Frank.

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