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Official website of the President of Russia

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Opening of the railway connecting Yakutia with the main Russian railways

November 15, 2011, Nizhny Bestyakh

In Yakutia, Dmitry Medvedev took part in an official opening ceremony of the Berkalit-Tommot-Nizhny Bestyakh railway.

Dmitry Medvedev congratulated everyone who took part in the construction of this railway line, stressing that the work was carried out in permafrost and the difficult conditions of the Russian North.

* * *

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, friends,

It is a wonderful day today, a memorable day, because we are about to take what is perhaps the most eagerly awaited step towards the launch of the Amur-Yakutsk Railway. The construction began back in the 1980s and for various reasons – the difficulties in the country and the lack of funding – the project took several decades to complete. The last stage was carried out at an accelerated pace and today we will have an opportunity to take part in the conclusion of this enormous and vitally important work.

This is Russia’s most northerly railway, and it will be part of the nationwide rail network of our great motherland. It is truly crucial event for the residents of Yakutia and for our entire nation. Our most important task for today is to thank all those who took part in the railway construction.

You brought this project to its conclusion working in permafrost and in the complex conditions of the Russian climate. Well done, you deserve the greatest praise, the highest commendations. But that's not all – we are about to take part in a symbolic event. It is essential for us to extend the railway to Yakutsk, to pass over Lena and make sure that everything is done as it should be (applause). I knew you would react to it properly, because we really must do it.

Railways are not built for the sake of laying metal on the ground but for the people, for you. So we'll make the connection, have no doubt about it. But that is not all because we have big plans for how we develop the railways in the North. And I am confident that these plans will be implemented in the coming decades and in this respect we will become the most advanced country in the world. And I very much hope that everyone present here will be involved in this.

Dear friends, my congratulations to all of you. I am very happy to be here with you today. Once again I would like to thank all those who built the railway, who provided assistance, who hoped and waited, and who finally got a chance to witness this great event. So, let's all say thank you, and I give the command to start the laying of the final unit.

November 15, 2011, Nizhny Bestyakh