SIBERIA IN THE WORLD ECONOMY
For centuries Siberian continent separated with its expanse
Europe and the Far East and made partners to pave roundabout
ways from one to another. And now Siberian territory turns out
the key to the development of economic communications with
countries of Asian-Pacific region - not only for Russia, but for
the whole Europe.
As far as Siberia itself is concerned, its foreign economic
connections were complicated by new circumstances after the USSR
disintegration. That is, the first, inevitable cargoes transit
over the territories of the new sovereign states, which
political and economic relations with are not finally settled
yet. And the second, re-orientation to the seaports, which as
Russia, as Siberia might make use of beyond control of the
neighboring countries - the former USSR republics.
TransSib, the backbone line in Eastern and, in particular, in
Western Siberia, has, for today, no reserves either of passing,
or of transport capability - even in view of last years
reduction of freight turnover between western and eastern
Russia's regions. Of three main railroads, which run from
Siberia westward, the single one - TransSib - remains within
Russia's boundaries. The other two (SredSib and YujSib) after
the USSR disintegration came to be out of Russia, in the
territory of the sovereign Kazakhstan. Moreover, the short
length of the main travel of TransSib trespasses Kazakhstan
territory along the Omsk-Ekaterinburg run (in the neighborhood
of Petropavlovsk). The other TransSib travel along this run
(through Tyumen) is weaker technically.
Among the most significant longitudinal lines there is
Tyumen-Tobolsk-Surgut-Urengoi run, leading to the oil and gas
bearing regions. Tomsk-Asino-Belyi Jar, Achinsk-Lesosibirsk,
Jeleznogorsk-Ust Ilimsk runs give access to the main timber
reserves areas. Tynda-Chulman will go north to Yakutsk. The
south bound longitudinal lines links TransSib with SredSib and
As far as actual economies are concerned, a curtailment of state
subsidies to the railways and energetics resulted in multiple
rise in transportation rates. Conveyance scale went down
sharply, and the railways do not manage invesments in technical
modernization of the main lines. The consequences were speed
reduction, frequent accidents, damage to cargoes.
There are no western standard highways in Siberia as yet.
Regular motor roads are represented first of all with
Tyumen-Omsk-Novosibirsk-Krasnoyarsk-Irkitsk-UlanUde-Chita - and
down to Vladivostok. It runs for the most part along TransSib.
The southern bound longitudunal runs duplicate mainly the
railway net. There Chyujskii way - the backbone motor road in
Moutain Altai - runs from Bijsk down to Mongolia. The northern
bound ways are of lower class.
TransSiberian air lines will make it possible to cut the flight
time between North America and countries of Asian-Pacific region
by 2-6 hours. The Los Angeles-Bangkok route length may be
reduced by 875 miles, Chicago-HongKong - by 2,300, New
York-Seoul - by 2,600 miles. TransSiberian lines between
Asian-Pacific region and Europe will bring the similar results.
Fuel is saved, engines service life is prolonged; the reduction
of flight time of intercontinental air liner by 15 minutes saves
some $10 thousand.
There are several air passages layed over Siberia - Southern
(along TransSib), Polar (along the Arctic coastline), Meridianal
(along Yenisei) and Nothern. Negotiations (with foreign firms
participation) are conducted and works on reconstruction and
building of airports and air terminals have been started - in
Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Chita, Barnaul, Kemerovo, Omsk and in
other Siberian cities.
See also travellers.