Construction of First Bridge Between Russia and China Set to Begin

Members of the Russian delegation (L) led by President Vladimir Putin meet with Chinese officials led by President Xi Jinping in Shanghai.

The construction of a new railway bridge between Russia and China will begin in the next few months, with the completion date slated for 2016, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, said Tuesday.

The bridge, which will traverse the Amur River, will allow Russia to increase its annual exports to China by 21 million tons and shorten the journey between the two countries by 700 kilometers, RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

It will also facilitate the creation of a new export corridor for gas and oil fields being developed in eastern Siberia and the Far East, RDIF said in an online statement.

As well as signing the investment memorandum on the construction of the bridge, Chinese and Russian leaders also inked deals on investment in a logistics company and cooperation in tourism following talks in Shanghai on Tuesday, Dmitriev added, according to RIA Novosti.

President Vladimir Putin is currently in China on a two-day visit, during which a deal on Russian natural gas exports to China is expected to be signed, as Moscow looks to strengthen ties with Beijing amid increasing Western pressure over the situation in Ukraine.

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