Radio Free Asia reported on October 18 (local time) that Russia expressed its will to proceed with the Rajin-Khasan Project in spite of economic sanctions on North Korea.
The project is to use the Rajin-Khasan Railway and the Rajin Port in North Korea in exporting goods from Russia or transporting goods from Russia to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR).
Russia repaired the Rajin-Khasan Railway from 2008 to 2014 and has exported coal from Siberia to China and so on since then by transporting it to the port via the railway. Russia looked forward to South Korea’s participation in the project and negotiated with the South Korean government and South Korean companies for long, but the talks have been postponed indefinitely due to the North Korean nuclear threat.
In this regard, Alexander Galushka, Minister for Development of Russian Far East, remarked on October 17 that the project will not be affected by the UN sanctions on North Korea. “The project resulted in a freight transport volume of no less than two million tons a year,” he said, adding that approximately 400,000 tons of coal will be transported in the project during the rest of this year.
The minister also mentioned that no new economic cooperation project will be launched between Russia and the North although the ongoing projects including the Rajin-Khasan will continue as they are. “Although Russian entrepreneurs who visited North Korea in 2014 and 2015 found some opportunities, now is not the time to talk about new projects given the ongoing economic sanctions,” he went on to say.