A new high-speed railway between Moscow and Helsinki, allowing trains to travel the distance in six hours, is being considered by the Finnish government, RBC reported this week.
Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development and Foreign Trade of Finland, has recently visited Moscow and discussed the prospect of such an initiative at a meeting with Russian Railways head Oleg Belozerov in the Russian capital, the news outlet wrote.
“We are talking about extending the branch of the high-speed railway Moscow-St. Petersburg, the project of which is planned to be submitted by 2022. Currently, the Russian side is engaged in the construction of the highway, but Helsinki is interested in its potential capabilities,” Skinnari said.
He added that Finland has an interest in such a project that would help increase the flow of tourists in both directions, and that they are ready to continue discussing with the Russian government. However, no estimate of the project has been made from the Finnish side so far.
Earlier, Russian Railways was planning to prepare a draft estimate documentation for the construction of a new high-speed railway (HSR) from Moscow to St. Petersburg by 2022. The cost of constructing the Moscow-St. Petersburg HSR corridor in June 2019 was estimated at 1.5 trillion rubles ($24.25 billion) by Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov. However, the cost of extending the HSR to Helsinki has not been disclosed publicly.
“We confirm that the Finnish side at the meeting raised the issue of the Helsinki-Moscow HSR, it was decided to exchange information on the progress of infrastructure projects in terms of high speeds,” the Russian Railways press service said.
Skinnari, on his two-day visit to Moscow on January 15, met with the acting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and acting Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, RBC writes.
“We discussed the prospects of cooperation in the field of trade, business, as well as digitalization, a sphere where Russia is showing steady development,” Skinnari said.
“Although sanctions continue to be an objective factor in relations between Moscow and the EU, Finnish business has managed to adapt to them and retains an interest in working in Russia,” the Finnish minister said.