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Opening of new sections of M-4 Highway in Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory

June 15, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin took part, via videoconference, in the opening ceremony of a motorway bypassing the town of Aksai in the Rostov Region and a remote lateral road to the west of the city of Krasnodar in the Krasnodar Territory.

The construction and upgrading of the 65-km long eastern bypass of Aksai, a satellite city of Rostov-on-Don, and a 51-km long remote bypass of Krasnodar in the west on the M-4 Don federal motorway have been completed, 18 months and six months respectively ahead of schedule. The main engineering structure built is a four-lane bridge (two traffic lanes in each direction) across the Don River.

The opening of the new sections will ease transit traffic on the approaches to Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, speed up the automobile traffic along the M-4 motorway, help improve the environmental situation in the cities and affect socioeconomic development of the regions of the Russian Federation.

The project is being implemented on the President’s instructions as part of the development of long-distance alternate access motorways to the Crimean Bridge.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Friends, good afternoon.

Today we are opening two new sections of the Don Federal Motorway, a road bypassing Aksai in the Rostov Region and a long remote bypass to the west of Krasnodar.

These comfortable modern high-speed motorways have opened well ahead of schedule and will serve our people, boost economic growth, help improve the quality of life, improve connectivity between cities and towns, reduce travel time for holiday-makers on their way to the resorts of Crimea and Kuban, and, in general, substantially increase the transport, industrial, agricultural and economic potential of southern Russia.

I thank all those who took part in constructing these crucial structures for their dedicated work. The designers, managers and builders successfully accomplished the set tasks and ensured the necessary rate of progress and quality.

All that is part of our large-scale joint work to build modern roads and develop transport infrastructure in all regions of the country. For example, last year alone, around 6,200 kilometres of federal motorways and over 20,000 kilometres of regional roads were repaired, while 400 kilometres of federal motorways and 1,200 kilometres of regional roads were built or repaired.

I expect we will maintain this high pace in future, too, as a good basis for this has been laid. The results of the first months of this year indicate that road repairs under the Safe and High Quality Roads national project are surpassing the pace of last year’s record-high volumes.

Special attention will be given to the road network in Russia’s new regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Obviously, work will continue throughout the entire country to develop an effective transport infrastructure, we will be working throughout the entire country. Modern road routes will take the load off federal motorways and increase freight and passenger traffic flows, and importantly, enhance traffic safety and decrease the number of traffic accidents.

I should note that such large-scale transport projects give a thrust to the comprehensive development of territories, cities and towns, we are well aware of that, and they stimulate housing and infrastructure construction in the regions.

I would like to add that building new motorways is also an important contribution to expanding international transport corridors, convenient transit routes, effective logistics and, of course, inter-regional cooperation which is of special significance for us today.

Let me again thank everyone who worked on the roads that are opening today. I believe we have new ambitious projects ahead – they are in the plans, and we will be pursuing all the plans which means our professional skills and experience will be needed. I said “our” as I meant all the people and structures who have been engaged in this large-scale work.

I wish you success and all the very best. Thank you for your attention and the results of this work.

Mr Khusnullin, go ahead please.

Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin: Mr President.

On your instruction, the Government has approved an unprecedentedly large five-year plan for the road development.

We are working to bring regional roads up to national standards. We reached the Safe Quality Roads project indicator as regards regional roads last year – two years ahead of scheduled. This year, our main goal is to bring roads up to national standards in metropolitan areas.

Last year, we set a record in road improvement by laying 176 million square metres of asphalt concrete. This year – thanks to your decision to grant special treasury loans for the priority funding of projects – we have set a goal that will not be below last year. Mr President, our benchmark is 180 million square metres, but over the past five months we have moved ahead of the plan, as you said, by 6 million square metres, which means we are maintaining a good pace.

Also following your instructions, we continue developing all the international corridors. One of the key corridors is the West-East Corridor, the Rossiya (Russia) route running from St Petersburg to Vladivostok. I hope that by the end of the year we will fully open the road to Kazan, and next year to Yekaterinburg and partially to Tyumen. This will reduce travel time from St Petersburg to Yekaterinburg almost by half. That is, this trip will take 17.5 hours.

We continue to develop the North-South Corridor. The leg of this motorway project that we are opening today represents part of this corridor. This road is very important for developing tourism, for infrastructure and housing construction on a full scale. It is also part of the Caspian Sea’s western detour.

Construction of city bypasses is a priority in developing a backbone road system. We will work on 47 city bypasses in the next five years. Today, we are opening two major bypasses for Aksai and the city of Krasnodar. Both are located on the M-4 Don federal motorway that is the main route to the Black and Azov Sea coasts and the main route to the new regions. All basic freight is delivered to the new regions via this motorway.

I would like to note that we hope that the opening of these sections will increase passenger traffic to about 23 million people as compared to 22.3 million in 2022. As a reminder, last year we also opened the Anapa bypass. Now we hope that by completing the bypass to Crimea, we will have a fully functional road from Crimea to St Petersburg without traffic lights.

The M-4 Don motorway crosses seven regions of the Russian Federation and connects us to the four new ones. We have already aligned all our plans in our new five-year programme of road construction in terms of years, schedules and funding.

The road to bypass Aksai was completed 18 months ahead of schedule. This road is in fact a part of the Rostov ring road which got funded thanks to investment and budget loans. This ring connects to roads in the DPR and Mariupol, and will also enable us to increase housing construction volumes.

Today we are also opening the bypass to the west of Krasnodar. It was your explicit instruction, Mr President. Three years ago, in 2020, you instructed us to seamlessly connect the M-4 Don motorway with the Crimean Bridge. We repeatedly updated you on it, and here we are completing this remote bypass six months ahead of schedule, and in 2024 we will finish approaching roads to the Crimean Bridge thus creating a new motorway ring around the Sea of Azov, which is 1,400 kilometres long, with 800 of them being high-speed four-lane roads. We will upgrade the roads in the new territories to meet standards within two or three years, thus making the ring fully operational.

Construction was completed ahead of schedule thanks to the Government’s systemic decisions following your direct instruction. They include flexible management of capital investments; advance funding of roadwork; and covering costs due to rising prices of construction materials without delay.

I would like to thank all the project participants and the state-owned company Avtodor. We used to fall behind schedule in the past, but now Avtodor has no delays. We build it all ahead of schedule.

I certainly want to thank the regional teams – we work in a close-knit team with the governors – and all the construction workers who despite heavy rain in the past month, when it was nearly impossible to work, managed to finish off this road under the most complicated conditions so that tourists can drive to the sea.

And of course, Mr President, I would like to thank you personally. It would have been hard to draw up this year’s budget without your constant attention and the decisions made, but we set out all the financial possibilities and thanks to that we are now opening all the roads ahead of schedule.

I hope we will accomplish all the plans. Thank you very much, thanks to those who were building these roads.

Thank you, Mr President. That concludes the report.


June 15, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow