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EU Sanctions Delay Russia’s Cross-border Cable Car to China

Russia and China have slowed construction of what would have been the world’s first cross-border cable car due to EU sanctions, the governor of a region where Russia’s section was to be built said Monday.

Construction of the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe cable car across the Amur River began in April 2021 and was due to wrap up this year. 

The 973-meter cable car, designed by the Dutch architectural practice UNStudio, was expected to transport up to 2.5 million people a year in four 60-person cabins. Travel time across the river was estimated at 10 minutes.

China and Russia had together invested 5 billion rubles ($82.5 million) into the project, which Amur region Governor Vasily Orlov said was stalled due to EU sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The French are not supplying it to us under EU demands because cable cars are classified as luxury items, and luxury items fall under sanctions,” Orlov told the RBC news website.

Orlov said the investors are actively looking for alternative suppliers from countries including India and Turkey.

“I’m absolutely confident the project will be implemented, but it will take another year,” he said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s port city of Vladivostok.

“I’m not ready to say yet whether the costs will change.”

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