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103 kilometers later, Russia will be a little closer to Alaska

The Russian Government recently unveiled plans to build the world's longest tunnel, as part of a $65 billion USD project to develop Siberia and warm Russian-U.S. relations.  The tunnel will supply the US with oil, natural gas and even electricity.

The tunnel -- which will include a highway, high-speed rail lines, pipelines, and high-power cables -- will run under the sea in the Bering Strait and connect Russia directly to Alaska.  At 103 kilometers long, it will be over twice as long as the Channel Tunnel between England and France.

The project was unveiled by the Russian Economy Ministry under the name TKM-WorldLink, and will be jointly financed by government and private interests.  Russia plans to formally present the plan to the U.S. Government this week.  Alaska's former governor, Walter Joseph Hickel, is already in Moscow to give a series of talks on the project.

Tsar Nicholas II approved plans in 1905 to connect Siberia and Alaska via an undersea tunnel, but the outbreak of World War I and Nicholas' subsequent death prevented construction from ever starting.

Japanese engineers have offered to drill the tunnel for $60 million per kilometer, a mere $6 billion.  However, the drill cost is only a fraction of the cost of the total project; the Russian side of the strait requires approximately 3,500 kilometers of road, pipe and rail that don't exist yet.  The U.S. side would require at least half that as well. 

In total, the proposition calls for 6,000 km of infrastructure. Conservative estimates put the project completion time at around thirteen years



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RE: Oh lord.
By vanka on 4/26/2007 8:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
now compare Putin with weak and unstable government of your Ukrainian guy Yushenko

Most of Yushenko's problems can be traced back to his efforts to rid the government of corrupt politicians; most of which are cozy with the Russian government. I support Yushenko's efforts to modernize the country and its economy and oppose Yanukovich's strong arm tactics of trying to gain power. During the '04 election Yanukovich's campaign hired thugs to incite riots amongst the protesters; luckily the thugs got drunk before fulfilling their assignment and beat themselves up on the way. Many of Ukraine's internal problems are the direct result of Russia's meddling. Russia does not want Ukraine to grow closer to the West/Europe and will try anything to prevent it.

quote:
imagine what happens if pro-American "democratic" president takes over Kremlin - Russia immediately dissolves into a crowd of corrupted little kingdoms, because right now they need a strong guy to beat them all into submission.

Why would it dissolve? Who exactly are they trying to beat into submission. All, except Chechnya, who wanted to break away from Russian rule did so during the early 90's. Most Russians would probably be happy to see Chechnya go; I think that the Kremlin would have let them go a long time ago if it wasn't for their wounded pride and the fact that Chechnya is a terrorist breeding ground. Also, I fail to see why a strong leader has to be an authoritarian or a dictator.

quote:
no freedom of speech anymore, you say?

Why not provide a quote of when I said that? What I did allude to was that dissidents are being arrested and several reporters who were critical of the Kremlin and Putin have disappeared. Yes there is still free speech but it is seriously curtailed. When the government buys out a news station that is one of its biggest critics, something is up. When peaceful protesters are arrested without case (under an anti-demonstration law passed for the specific purpose) something is up. When people critical of the government find themselves under investigation, then locked up and left penniless; something is up.

There is a big difference between having a good-natured joke at Putin's expense and being left alone (Galkin) and being arrested for protesting the government's policies (Kasparov). What worries me and many others is the very evident erosion of people's rights and freedoms in Russia. What is even more worrying is the promotion of xenophobia and attempts to homogenize the political views of the population. That is what smacks of a return to Soviet attitudes.


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