China, Russia draw closer with rail and port projects

Economic cooperation between China and Russia deepened last week with the signing of an agreement paving the way for a major state-owned Chinese firm to build infrastructure in Russia.

China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) signed the memorandum of understanding that sees one of its subsidiaries build rail and port projects, the firm said in a stock exchange statement yesterday.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow to mark the anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe.

CRCC subsidiary, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), said it had agreed with Russian firm Tuva Energy Industrial Corporation LLC (TEIC) to consult on and help source funds from Chinese institutions for projects including a 410 km rail track across the central southern part of Russia from Elegest to Kuragin, Reuters reports.

The other projects are a railway line connecting the Tuvan Republic in the same area of Russia to western China, and a port project in eastern Russia.

CECC said the firms would sign a contract for general contracting once the projects obtained financing. The value of the contracts were not given.

Last week, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said the countries would invest 1 trillion roubles ($19.7bn) in a rail link between Moscow and the Russian city of Kazan to be completed by 2020. Putin has said that said the level of Chinese investment would be around 300 billion roubles.

Photograph: Chinese president Xi Jinping with Russian president Vladimir Putin during ceremonies to mark the end of World War Two in Europe, May 2015 (

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