Vladimir Putin: Dear President Xi Jinping! Dear Secretary General Guterres, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to thank the President of the PRC and Chinese partners for organizing the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference. Thus, the idea of Secretary General Guterres is being implemented to discuss the problems of the development of international transport communication under the guidance of the UN on a regular basis.
The relevance of this is caused by the importance of effective adaptation of the transport industry to the constantly growing global demand for goods and services, to new environmental requirements associated with the transition to ecologically clean types of fuel, to the tasks of combating acts of terrorism, smuggling and, in general, crime in transport.
Lately such work has been complicated by the spread of the Coronavirus disease, and the requirements for ensuring the safety and health of citizens have increased even more. I think everyone agrees that the mentioned issues concerning international freight and passenger traffic can and should be resolved only on the basis of cooperation and interaction between all interested states.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to inform you that much is being done in Russia to renew, expand, ensure sustainability and develop the transport infrastructure. Taking into account the huge territory of our country and harsh weather conditions, such work requires a systematic approach and strong investments. Therefore, we have adopted a whole series of national programs for all sectors of transport.
In particular, a large national road development project is being implemented. At the same time, special emphasis is placed on the reconstruction and construction of new main arteries connecting large industrial centers and economic agglomerations of our country, including those that make it possible to directly connect Asian markets with European consumers.
Modernization of the railway infrastructure, including the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur Mainlines, is underway in order to increase the opportunities for container traffic and, in general, increase the capacity of Russian transcontinental railways.
A special role in Russia is traditionally assigned to aviation, which often serves as the only link that can guarantee the transport accessibility of remote regions. So we are doing a lot to support regional and local air transportation, primarily in the interests of residents of the Arctic and the Far East.
In 2021, the amount of funds invested will amount to $ 255 million, 417 regional routes of domestic airlines will be subsidized. The aerodrome infrastructure of more than 60 airports is also being modernized, including the aviation centers of the Far Eastern Federal District.
Let me remind you that Russia is doing a lot and has been doing it for many years, it successfully performs the cargo transportation along a unique route - the Northern Sea Route. Its role is constantly growing against the background of ongoing climate change, rapid industrial growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the need to provide the shortest, most cost-effective routes for the delivery of goods from East to West and in the opposite direction.
We intend to multiply the cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, along its entire length, which is 10.5 thousand kilometers, to build infrastructure facilities, including those providing reliable communications and navigation, and to improve the port economy. Real steps are being taken to develop the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet.
At the same time, we invite all interested partners, including our Chinese friends, to more actively use the opportunities of the Northern Sea Route to increase trade operations with Europe.
I would like to note that in our country a lot of attention has been focused on the introduction of modern digital technologies in transport, the expansion of the use of electronic services, artificial intelligence, as well as unmanned and highly automated transport systems. In particular, starting from January 1, 2022, a system of electronic transportation documents for road transport will be introduced, which will save a significant amount of funds, reduce expenses and, as a result, will reduce the final cost of goods.
I consider it our common task to do everything necessary so that such new technological opportunities are used as efficiently as possible, work for the benefit of people, in the interests of high-quality economic growth, and lead to the expansion of international bonds and cooperation.
Another acute problem directly related to the agenda of this conference is associated with ensuring safety in transport. For example, as a result of road accidents alone in the world, more than a million people die every year, tens of millions are injured.
Let me remind you that Russia was the initiator of the inclusion of this serious topic on the UN agenda. And we call on all interested countries in the next 2022 year, to actively participate in the forthcoming high-level meeting of the General Assembly on road safety, which is being prepared at our proposal.
In conclusion, I would like to express my confidence that this conference will become an example of a truly partner, open, constructive dialogue and make a significant contribution to the work to ensure global sustainable development.
I wish the participants success and all the best.
Thank you for your attention.
Photo from the Kremlin website