Russia to abandon two megaprojects because of the war in Ukraine

Russia is forced to abandon two megaprojects at once because of the war in Ukraine - the government simply does not have the funds for them in the current conditions. This was told by the Minister for the Development of the Far East Alexei Chekunkov in an interview with RBC.

We are talking about the construction of a bridge to Sakhalin and a railway between Yakutsk and Magadan, the total cost of the projects is estimated at 2.3 trillion rubles. Both projects were not included in the comprehensive plan for the modernization and expansion of the main infrastructure, they were considered “non-priority” by the government. Instead, the authorities intend to focus on the implementation of "northern maritime logistics" projects, primarily the Northern Sea Route, the creation of additional border crossings between Russia and China, as well as increasing storage capacity.

The principle of concession (with the participation of private capital) can save the railway between Yakutsk and Magadan, Chekunkov argues, but the state cannot provide budget financing in the current conditions. The administration of the Republic of Yakutia estimates the cost of the road in the range of 830 billion to 1.7 trillion rubles, and allocating this money, according to the minister, is “a bit unrealistic” in the current conditions. Nevertheless, the authorities of the region insist on the implementation of the project and intend to carry out planning work this summer.

The authorities link the fate of the bridge to Sakhalin with the “cargo base”, that is, the potential load on the project, without an economic justification, the project is not feasible. The cost of the project was previously estimated at 600 billion rubles, taking into account the access infrastructure. The governor of the Sakhalin region insisted that the project would be implemented, but even the presidential special envoy for environmental protection, ecology and transport, Sergei Ivanov, back in 2020 called the project "wildly expensive."

The increase in trade relations with Japan, which could result in the construction of a bridge connecting the two states, could change the attitude towards the project of the bridge to Sakhalin. However, in the current conditions, due to sanctions and the war in Ukraine, this option is impossible, and without trade with Japan, the project will not pay off.

American Daily Newspaper

Learn More →