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    Russia to propose founding consortium to build Volga-Don canal -1

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    MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will make a proposal to Caspian states on setting up a consortium to build a second line of the Volga-Don shipping canal, the transportation minister said Thursday.

    The idea to set up an international consortium for the project in south Russia was voiced by President Vladimir Putin in his annual state of the nation address to parliament Thursday. He said the new transportation artery would improve navigation between the Caspian and the Black Seas and change the geopolitical importance of Caspian states.

    "We will conduct analysis, and given that the president has invited all Caspian states to take part in the project, evidently, we will have to propose establishing a consortium," Igor Levitin said.

    Built in 1952, the 101-kilometer (60-mile) canal has an annual cargo capacity of 16.5 million metric tons.

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