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08.09.2021
BelTA

Belarus-Russia passenger transportation by rail expected to reach pre-COVID levels

It is necessary to raise passenger transportation by rail between Belarus and Russia up to pre-COVID levels. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement as he met with Director General, Chairman of the Board of OAO Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, BelTA has learned.

Roman Golovchenko said: "Last year was rather problematic for passenger transportation. Transportation between Belarus and Russia was limited from April 2020 till February 2021. A gradual recovery began in February. An important project was implemented to launch daily passenger service between Minsk and Moscow. It is a significant stage. This project needs to grow because it enjoys demand. I hope transportation restrictions will be completely lifted soon and we will be able to fully restore passenger train service up to pre-COVID levels. Let me remind you that there were 28 regular trains, including 17 formed by Belarusian Railways."

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The prime minister also raised the matter of freight transportation by rail. "We expect further increase in freight transportation between Belarus and Russia considering the fact we are rerouting our commodity flows to Russian logistic corridors due to well-known circumstances. This is why the role of railway transport is quite significant. The realization of the project for transshipping Belarusian oil products via Russian ports represents a good example of how it was possible to prepare a logistic scheme and preserve economic advisability for both sides on a tight schedule with political support. It was possible to accomplish the task of rerouting such volumes of freight fast thanks to proper motivation and interest. I'd like to express gratitude for constructive cooperation. I am convinced this experience will help us scale up projects of this kind. We are interested in utilizing Russia's entire transportation and logistics infrastructure particularly since we are very close to another stage of our economic integration within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia," he stressed.

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The prime minister of Belarus and the Russian Railways head also discussed the development of the transit potential and freight transportation between China and Europe.

While talking to reporters Oleg Belozerov noted that daily Minsk-Moscow rapid trains are extremely popular. "We are now implementing our plans to raise the number of passengers and increase the number of cars per train from five to ten. We intend to combine our efforts in the future, too in order to enable as comfortable conditions as possible for our passengers. We may consider the possibility of establishing a joint venture," he added. The Russian Railways head also said that they were discussing matters concerning the increase in the volume of freight transit via the territory of Belarus and Russia.