Vladivostok has become a “Mecca” for foreign tourist super sealiners. At right, Russia’s eastern port welcomes the Reigning Princess and Norway Wind, carrying a total of 4,200 wealthy tourists from Western Europe, North America, the Middle East, Japan and South Korea.
The government has given its OK to a plan for a bridge linking the Russian mainland with the Far Eastern island of Sakhalin. The plan was developed by the Railway Ministry, headed by Nikolai Aksyonenko. The 10 km bridge and 570 km railway link will take about eight years to build at a cost of $4.5 billion and is expected to break even by 2030. A broad spectrum of government officials have voiced support for the project, from Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to the liberal German Gref. According to Kasyanov (who presented the project for discussion), “it will be the first such large-scale economic project since the time of the USSR.”
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