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Russia to build Sahkalin bridge in Far East region

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-18 21:47

MOSCOW - A bridge connecting Sakhalin Island with the mainland in Russia's Far East will be built as a part of the region's development program, a senior official said Thursday.

"This will be Russia's third access point to the Pacific Ocean, " Far East Development Minister Viktor Ishayev said in Khabarovsk.

Ishayev said the 7-km bridge, which will provide full integration of Russia's railroad network with the ports on the island, will cost at least $10 billion.

Another bridge could also be built across the 45-km strait between Sakhalin Island and the Japanese island of Hokkaido, providing a rail link between Europe and Japan, Ishayev said.

President Vladimir Putin this week criticized the federal government and local authorities for their failure to ensure effective development of the Far East region.

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