Russia Invests $3mn in China-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Railway

Russia has allocated $3.1 million for the development of a feasibility study for the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway construction project, Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said on Monday, according to Regnum news agency.

The project was announced back in the early 2000s, but since then it has not been launched. According to the initial idea, the road was supposed to go through the city of Kashgar in the Chinese province of Xinjiang to Andijan in Uzbekistan through the Naryn and Osh regions of Kyrgyzstan. Such a route was supposed to connect these three states with Turkmenistan, with the ports of the Caspian Sea, as well as with Iran and Europe. Its total length was to be 268 kilometers.

However, there were two main problems which included financing and the gauge issue, as China uses international standards, while Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan apply the Soviet one. In addition, the parties did not agree on a route.

Later, another version of the path was developed. It was suggested that the trains go to the southern city of Kyrgyzstan, Jalalabad, and not to Osh, but the Kyrgyz authorities considered that such a route would be unprofitable for the country.

The Kyrgyz side proposed an alternative route, which would be a little longer passing the At-Bashinsky district and further through Kazarman village of the country to the south. However, Uzbekistan and China advocated that the route be as short as possible.

Now, Russia has allocated money for the development of a feasibility study for the railway construction project taking into account the interests of all parties. This increases the chances that the project may start in the near future.