(TELESUR) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave a green light to the construction of a tolled highway across Russia. The project is slated to cost around US$9.5 billion (600 billion rubles) aims at making transportation faster across the country.
The massive project called the Meridian Highway will be funded mainly by investors, and less so from the government. However, the administration promised it will seek to attract further investors to support the project, including China.
The investors said they wanted the government to guarantee the minimal revenue of around US$550 million gained by tolls, covering political risks such as the closure of state borders. The project is expected to yield a profit in 12 years.
The highway will extend over 2,000 km from the Belarus border to that of Kazakhstan to become part of the fastest trucking route between China and Europe. The operator in charge of the project has already acquired about 80 percent of the land needed for its construction.
This huge project is part of China’s ambitious One Belt One Road Initiative, which is supported by Russia. The nation’s President Vladimir Putin visited China in April to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
He then said the Chinese initiative will reinforce cooperation between Eurasian states and help and assure the region’s economic development.