Maksim Oreshkin is Russia’s Economic Development Minister. During a Question and Answer session, he stated that one of the biggest barriers to the economic growth of the Russia Federation is the state of the country’s infrastructure, namely the road and highway system in the country.
“ am convinced that infrastructure is one of the key problems of the Russian economy. We are underinvested here, the quality of infrastructure does not correspond to the level of Russia’s development and is a serious obstacle on the way of economic growth…”
This is more likely to come to attention starting this year, as Russia’s forecast calls for a two percent rate of economic growth, which the first prediction of growth since the economic crisis began in Russia.
The Russian News Agency TASS further reports that President Vladimir Putin intends to focus the nation on internal development, including the following issues:
Key things we will focus on are issues of the domestic agenda: first of all, measures to encourage Russia’s economic growth, giving it an impetus of innovation, to develop the healthcare sector, education, industrial production, infrastructure and other areas vital for further progress of the country and raising the living standards… This is what we will pay major attention to.”
Some examples of major projects underway are the Kerch Bridge project that links the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian mainland, expected to open in May; and the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway project, which is gaining interest from investors in Spain, as reported by RT. This project is a great example that illustrates the infrastructure situation in Russia, for the track distance between Moscow and Kazan is 770km (478.5 miles). In Russia presently this trip takes 12 hours by rail. With the high-speed system in place, travel time will be reduced to only 3.5 hours, on a route with 15 stops. China is also interested in investing in this project, as is Germany.
Doing similar upgrades on Russia’s highway transportation network would be of great benefit to shipping and commerce.