First trucks cross new bridge between Russia and China

First trucks cross new bridge between Russia and China

The first trucks have embarked on a new bridge connecting the Russian and Chinese cities of Heihe and Blagoveshchensk.

The first road bridge between Russia and China opened for freight traffic on Friday after the deep crisis between Moscow and the West over the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

The construction of the 1,080 meter long crossing between the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk and China s Heihe across the Amur River began on both sides in late 2016; the construction of the 1,080 meter long crossing began on both sides. The total investment was 19 billion rubles, $325.4 million and $240 million of which was contributed by Russia. The opening of the bridge was originally planned for November 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid epidemic. Since strict Covid rules are still in force in China, only trucks are allowed to cross the border.

The Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China has a symbolic meaning in today s fragmented world. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said during the launch ceremony that it will become another line of friendship between the peoples of Russia and China. The symbolic meaning of the event was also made by Chinese Vice Premier Deputy Premier Hunhua. He said that due to the bridge, his country would provide better logistics services and that the crossing would become a bridge of friendship and cooperation. The first eight China-bound Russian trucks from the Gazprom Helium Service fleet, powered by liquefied natural gas, crossed the bridge on Friday via the Kani-Kurgan-Heihe checkpoint. Eight trucks with car tires and components for electrical equipment set off for Russia from the Chinese side.

Vitaly Savelyev, head of the Russian Transport Ministry, said that the opening of the bridge will reduce the costs and terms of transportation of goods in foreign trade.

He said that the new crossing would allow the cargo turnover between the two countries to reach 1 million tons per year.

The average tariff for traveling over the bridge for one car would be 8,700 rubles about $150, but the cost of construction will be reduced when the cost of construction is recouped, according to Russian officials.

The idea of a friendly border between Blagoveshchensk and Heihe dates back to the late 1980s. The first reported deal between the two cities was made in September 1987 when a shipment of watermelons was traded for Soviet fertilizer.

In 1995, Russia and China signed an agreement to build a bridge across the Amur River. In 2015, the sides amended the agreement by signing a protocol by the sides that the governments of the Heilongjiang province and Amur Region would share the costs of building the bridge and set up a Russian-Chinese joint venture. This was done in order to preserve and develop the historical ethnic, family, cultural, humanitarian and economic ties between the citizens of Russia and China. Since the launch of Russia's military operation in Ukraine in late February, Western countries have imposed tough sanctions on Russia and have criticized Beijing for refusing to condemn Moscow's actions and maintaining strong ties with Russia.