"The project of the transport route construction, there are two variants of the construction [bridge and tunnel], is [included] in the Russian transport development strategy until 2030. I hope the project will be implemented within the time frame specified in the strategy," Sokolov said, confirming that the ministry was considering the issue.
Sokolov noted that in case Japan "activated the ideas" on building the route between Sakhalin and the Japanese island of Hokkaido, there would emerge a transport corridor, which would allow transfer of approximately 40 billion tonnes of goods per year.
Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov said at the Russian Investment Forum in February that the launch of discussions on the bridge between Sakhalin and Hokkaido would be possible given the construction of the route connecting the mainland and Sakhalin. Tokyo announced the intention to pay the cost of the bridge between Sakhalin and Japan back in 2001.
The Sakhalin bridge or tunnel, if constructed, would connect the island of Sakhalin with the mainland Russia across the narrowest part of the Strait of Tartary and be some 7-10 kilometers long (4.3-6.2 miles).