• 2018 November 21

    Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of Russia

    On challenges of water transport and port development in Russia

    - We should form very strong transport corridors. As for the North-South, we have unfortunately failed in the South. The North is developing more or less: a new state-of-the-art port, Bronka, has appeared. It can accommodate vessels of large displacement which is not possible in the South. In 2004, we built a railway to the port near Astrakhan but the port idea has failed. We need to see why and to learn from it. In my opinion, - and we are preparing to undertake measures in pursuance of presidential instructions, we need large-capacity vessels for the Caspian Sea. If we do not succeed, there is no sense to carry 20-30 vehicles by ship, it does not work. We need vessels of larger capacity to carry more vehicles. There is a solution concerning the Caspian Sea, an agreement has been signed, the Caspian Sea is open. Any Caspian country offering new variants of cargo transportation will dominate in the Caspian region, indeed. I hope very much that the Ministry of Transport will be able to find solutions together with the Ministry of Industry: we should be able to build such ships.

    I think the most technologically and environmentally advanced port in the South, on the Black Sea, is Taman. It is a private port. Its advantage is the ability to handle the largest ships able to pass the Bosporus ...

    The North-West. Sabetta is a breakthrough here. There is a task of carrying 80 million tonnes (by NSR - Ed.) and Sabetta should take over a considerable portion of that volume. 

    Among the problems I think we have the following: when the Ministry of Transport was formed in 2004  … we undertook an experiment combining the positions of Deputy Minister and head of Federal Marine and River Transport Agency. I told Victor Olersky that it was a mistake in my opinion. A head of an agency cannot be a deputy minister…

    Now about the Northern Sea Route transfer: we hand it over to Rosatom. There is an order of the President and we are executing it. But how will it work? Who will be answerable to consignors? It is necessary to look thoroughly into its functioning, into the impact on consignors... I think the Ministry of Transport and the Federal Agency together with Rosatom should develop well balanced regulatory instruments to see who is responsible when we fail to achieve the planned result of 80 million tonnes.

    Now about the river transport. We did not succeed in creating strong river lines for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, I think it is a competitive type of transport and we should not leave the rivers. We should make this type of transport environmentally friendly, affordable and safe.

    Recorded by IAA PortNews at the industry focused conference “Maritime and River Transport as a System Element of the Backbone Infrastructure” held as part of the Transport Week in Moscow.