Crimean Role in New Silk Road Connection

For the late-August elections for Saxony state parliament, the BüSo party is calling for a freight maglev link from the state’s capital Dresden to Kiev, extended to Crimea and on to the east through Kazakhstan and China. An article in Eurasia Review on May 27 actually showed that this proposed route via Crimea is not a pie in the sky, but something seriously being considered in China—although still on the level of traditional high-speed rail technology.

In addition to the northern Chongqing-Duisburg route for the container train just inaugurated by China’s President in Duisburg, there “exists another rail link in operation, established in March-April 2011,” the article said, “from Chongqing to Duisburg (Germany) via the Alashankou crossing, Kazakhstan, which traverses north of the Caspian Sea through Russia, Belarus, and Poland, covering 10,300 km. China since late last year has looked to develop an alternate trade route to Europe, through Ukraine/Crimea from the Sevastopol deep water port and connect with the Maritime Silk Road in Greece. Accordingly, even as Ukraine embroiled itself deeper in political crisis, the Beijing Interoceanic Canal Investment Management (BICIM) unveiled a project to invest $10 billion in the construction of a port and economic zone in Sevastopol, Ukraine’s second-largest port.

“As a part of the project, a new deep-water port will be built in Crimea near the village of Frunze in Saki region. Dredging works will be required to provide the new port a draft up to 25 meters deep. The project will entail the construction of several terminals and grain storage facilities with total capacity of 20 million tons. The port’s design capacity is 140 million tons. Since the port infrastructure and port itself will be built on land, the builders will have to destroy the land separating the Bogayly Lake from the sea. The navigable channel for the passage of the largest vessels will stretch for 9 kilometers.”

The entire project was signed with a Kiev-based company, Kievgridoinvest, though, and the Ukrainian regime is not likely to voluntarily promote economic development in Crimea—unless that becomes part of a Russian-Ukrainian agreement supported by Europe and China.

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