V-P Kallas urges Russia to invest more in transport facilities

17/11/2010

Russia has "huge potential" in global aviation, but until now this potential has developed only in an isolated way. There is a need for investment in runways and airport facilities, and air traffic management needs modernization in order to cope with an increasing number of flights. The EU has a strong interest in growing cooperation with Russia in the area of transport, particularly aviation, and we look forward to working closely with the Russian Ministry of Transport to explore ways of moving forward.

This is one of the key messages delivered by Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, speaking in Moscow this morning at the Fourth International Forum on "Transport of Russia", being held today and tomorrow.

Vice-President Kallas also touched on Russia's crucial role in cargo transit between Europe and Southeast Asia: "Interesting work has been done by Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways to develop transcontinental rail freight corridors between Europe, China and points farther east ... But to offer a real alternative to maritime transport is a big challenge. It must be commercially viable. What can help to develop an economically beneficial continental alternative for businesses interested in transporting their goods from China to Europe and vice versa?"

A unique opportunity for dialogue between state regulatory bodies and the transport business community, the "Transport of Russia" forum brings together all parties involved in post-crisis transport policy in Russia. The program will include a conference dedicated to the issues of rail, automobile, sea and air transport development and operation, the second day of the forum being dedicated to a discussion of the prospects for transport in the context of ensuring Russian economic development.

See SPEECH/10/657 for the complete text of the speech

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