As relations deepen, Russia and China open cross-border bridges


Russia and China hope to open a new cross-border bridge in the Far East on Friday to further boost trade as Moscow wipes out western sanctions imposed on its actions in Ukraine.

According to the RIA news agency, the bridge connecting the city of Blagoveshchensk in Russia and the city of Heihe in China is over 1 km long across the Amur River, known as Heilongjiang Province in China, and is 19 billion rubles (1 billion rubles). It costs $ 342 million).

During the fireworks display, cargo trucks crossed a two-lane bridge decorated with flags of the colors of both countries from both ends, and a video image of the opening was projected.

Russian officials said the bridge would bring Moscow and Beijing closer by promoting trade after President Vladimir Putin announced an “unlimited” partnership in February, just before sending troops to Ukraine.

“In today’s fragmented world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe Bridge between Russia and China has a special symbolic meaning,” said Yuri Tortnev, the Kremlin representative of the Russian Far East.

China’s Deputy Director Hu Chunhua said at the opening ceremony that the Chinese government would like to deepen practical cooperation with Russia in all areas.

Russia’s Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said the bridge would help increase bilateral annual trade to more than one million tonnes.

Reduce travel time

The bridge has been under construction since 2016 and was completed in May 2020, but the opening was delayed due to cross-border COVID-19 restrictions, said BTS-MOST, which is building the bridge on the Russian side. ..

BTS-MOST said the bridge’s freight transport would reduce the travel distance of Chinese goods to western Russia by 1,500 km (930 miles). Vehicles crossing the bridge must pay a toll of 8,700 rubles ($ 150). This is the price that is expected to fall as tolls begin to offset construction costs.

Russia said in April that it expects commodity flows to grow with China and trade with Beijing to reach $ 200 billion by 2024.

China is a major buyer of Russia’s natural resources and agricultural products.

The Chinese Communist Party government refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and criticized Western sanctions on Moscow.