Oleg Belozerov: Russian Railways is interested in increasing transit shipments through Mongolia
Oleg Belozerov, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, and Amarzhargalyn Gansuh, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Mongolia, have discussed current issues of Russian-Mongolian cooperation with regard to rail development, as well as the programme for creating a Russia-Mongolia-China economic corridor.
Oleg Belozerov expressed his support for the Mongolian proposal to transfer the coordination functions of the corridor’s development programme to the transport authorities. He noted that during this year it would necessary to develop an appropriate comprehensive joint action plan.
For its part, the Russian Railways Holding has already begun the practical implementation of the Central Corridor development project. It has approved priority measures for a long-term modernisation and development programme to 2030, which provides for a major track overhaul by 2020 and the renewal of the locomotive fleet of Ulan Bator Railways.
According to Oleg Belozerov, the development plan for the Central Railway Corridor may be supplemented by the Zuunbayan-Hangi project. The construction of this line, with the participation of Ulan Bator Railways, and the creation of a new border crossing, will enable a redistribution of freight flows, thus reducing the load on the existing border junction on the Mongolian-Chinese border.
"A very timely measure is the decision of Mongolia’s parliament, the State Great Assembly, to offset the excise taxes previously paid by Ulan Bator Railways to pay off debt on Japanese loans. This work must be completed in order to increase the investment attractiveness of the railway," said the head of Russian Railways.
Belozerov dwelt separately on the performance indicators of Ulan Bator Railways, noting that in 2018 the company had shipped a record 25.7 million tons of freight, an increase of 13.2% compared to 2017. In 2018, transit traffic through Mongolia increased by 9% compared to the previous year and amounted to 3.37 million tons.
"We are extremely interested in further increasing transit traffic through Mongolia. We believe that the intergovernmental agreement concluded in June 2018 on the conditions of transit shipments will facilitate the movement of Mongolian exports through Russia’s ports in the Far East," said Oleg Belozerov.
The head of Russian Railways added that the Company was ready to provide all necessary assistance for the organisation of test shipments of Mongolian coal to Russia’s Far Eastern ports and has put in place attractive tariff conditions to facilitate such transports.