Md. Ashraful Islam: Russia and China have launched a new road bridge over the Amu Darya River on the eastern border. They hope the bridge will play an important role in boosting trade between the two neighboring countries, which are becoming increasingly close.
Russia, which is facing unprecedented Western sanctions over its military operation in Ukraine, is seeking to boost trade with its allies.
The bridge, which opened on Friday, connects the Russian city of Hlaihe with the Russian city of Blogavishchinsk.
The one-kilometer-long bridge over the Amur River (known as Heilongjiang in China) cost 1,900 million rubles (কোটি 342 million), according to the RIA Novosti.
Citing video footage of the opening ceremony, the news agency Reuters reported that freight trucks traveled over the two-lane bridge between the two countries during the fireworks display. The bridge was decorated with festoons in the colors of the Russian and Chinese flags.
Russian officials say the bridge will deepen the Moscow-Beijing alliance by boosting trade.
Earlier in February, the two countries announced that there was “no limit” to their partnership. Russia launched an attack on its western neighbor Ukraine later that month.
In today’s inaugural ceremony, Yuri Turtenev, Russia’s Kremlin spokesman in the Far East, said: “In today’s divided world, the Blogavischinsk-Haihai bridge between Russia and China carries a special symbolic meaning.”
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Jintao has said that China wants to deepen effective cooperation with Russia in all areas.
Russia’s Transport Minister Vitaly Savileyev said the bridge would help boost bilateral annual trade in more than 1 million tonnes of goods.
According to BTS-MOST, the company responsible for the construction of the bridge next to Russia, the construction of the bridge started in 2016 and ended in May 2020, but the inauguration of the bridge was delayed due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 on both borders.
The BTS-MOST said the bridge would reduce the distance of Chinese goods to western Russia by 1,500 kilometers.
Russia said in April that it expects Chinese goods flow to increase and that trade with Beijing could reach বিল 200 billion by 2024.
China is a major buyer of Russian natural resources and agricultural products. China has refused to condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine and has criticized Western sanctions against Moscow.