Russian highway touted to be ‘new Silk Road’

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 12 July 2019

On Tuesday 9 July Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the approval of plans to build a highway across parts of Russian in a bid to connect Europe and China.

The new highway, once complete, will primarily facillitate trade, allowing cargo to pass more freely between Europe and China via Russia.

khrebet nurgush, russia, nature

Khrebet Nurgush in the Ural Mountains region, not far from Kazakhstan.

The project is expected to cost 600-billion rubles (roughly R133 billion) and will be funded privately by investors rather than the Russian government.

The name of the new 2,000-kilometre highway will be the ‘Meridian Highway’, which will begin at Russian’s border with Belarus (west) and cut across the length of the country, just south of Moscow, to the border with Kazakhstan. From here the route can link to China via another cross-country commute through Kazakhstan.

Some members of the media have compared the concept of the Meridian with the Silk Road, the famous, ancient trade route. The original Silk Road, however, comprised a number of routes, and spanned thousands of kilometres across and around Asia and Europe.

The Meridian Highway, which would serve the convenience of connecting Eurasia to China by creating a shorter route just south of Moscow, is a part of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping’s vision of a ‘transcontinental trade route’ (which includes Africa), and for which Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a keen negotiator.

Image: Unsplash

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