International activities of Russian Railways and key international projects
On the path to change
In 2015, the Russian Railways Group continued to work amidst a challenging foreign economic and macroeconomic situation. The changing geopolitical and geo-economic conditions forced to us to search more actively for different opportunities to achieve the Company’s goals. We also relied on support from the country’s leadership as well as the global stature and significant potential of Russian Railways.
Other important factors included the development of integration processes within the Eurasian space, strengthening the role of such powerful organisations as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS, and the continued high level of interest in cooperation with the Group among foreign businesses, including Western ones.
This all enabled us to make progress in resolving some of the top priority tasks — achieving a new level of interaction with foreign partners in infrastructure construction and logistics as well as strengthening the position of Russian Railways in international organisations.Based on materials from the final meeting of the Russian Railways Management Board
Cooperation with CIS and Baltic States within the 1520 Domain
- The Russian Railways Group’s participation in the Council of Rail Transport of CIS States helped to promote key issues concerning international passenger and freight transportation. The Council adopted a number of resolutions to update regulatory documents and signed several important agreements at its 62nd and 63rd sessions. In particular, at the 62nd session in May 2015 Russian Railways and Azerbaijan Railways signed a memorandum on cooperation that aims to expand the transit potential of the two countries and increase transportation between Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia and Europe as part of the North-South international transport corridor.
- The intermodal logistics operator United Transportation and Logistics Company (UTLC), which was founded by Russian Railways, Belarusian Railway and NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, continued to develop its operations. The Company provides a full range of integrated transportation and logistics services in railway freight and intermodal transportation throughout the Eurasian Economic Union with eventual entry to the markets of Europe and China. The main outcome of the Tenth International Rail Business Forum Strategic Partnership 1520
(3-5 June,Sochi) was the development of coordinated approaches to the development of the railway industry in the ‘1520 space’. A number of important agreements were signed.
- Armenian railway infrastructure was rebuilt and developed in full compliance with a concession agreement.
Cooperation with Asia-Pacific Region countries
The Company continued working jointly with its Chinese partner on the project to establish the Eurasian High-Speed Transportation Corridor from Moscow to Beijing for which the Moscow-Kazan section of the Moscow-Kazan-Yekaterinburg Mainline is to serve as a pilot stage.
On 8 May, the Ministry of Transportation of the Russian Federation, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China, Russian Railways and China Railway signed a memorandum on high-speed railway transportation. The memorandum provisions govern the forms of cooperation and models for financing and investing in the Moscow-Kazan High-Speed Railway project.
On 18 June, High-Speed Rail Lines and a consortium of designers that won a tender (Mosgiprotrans, Nizhegorodmetroproekt and the Second Design and Survey Institute of Chinese Railways) signed a contract to develop design documentation for this project.
On 3 September, Russian Railways signed a memorandum of intentions with the Port of Yingkou Group on the construction of joint logistics centres, including in the Moscow Region, on a common operational platform for the further provision of integrated services. The first freight was shipped from the Port of Yingkou to Russia in October.
Thus, a full-scale dialogue mechanism has been formed to link the processes of Eurasian economic integration with the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Russian Railways also devotes considerable attention to establishing a constructive dialogue with Japanese businessmen concerning the development of cooperation in railway transportation.
Interaction with international organisations
Russian Railways continued its chairmanship of the International Union of Railways (UIC) in 2015. Russian Railways President Oleg Belozerov was elected chairman of the UIC for 2016 under a resolution adopted at the 87th General Assembly of the UIC.
As a result of joint efforts by Russian Railways and the UIC headquarters, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations of the UN Economic and Social Council adopted a favourable decision to raise the status of the UIC to that of a Special Advisory body.
Based on an initiative from Russian Railways, the UIC adopted the important decision to set up a joint working group of the Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD) and UIC to draft international railway standards for the 1520 cluster.
A concept for the development of international transportation corridors prepared by Russian Railways as part of the UIC Global Expert Group on international transportation corridors was published in May. A number of significant documents were also drafted as part of the security platform against acts of unlawful interference in railway transportation.
In June, the OSJD completed work on the draft Convention on Direct International Railway Transportation along with its appendices. The Convention is to be officially adopted after it is considered at the International Intergovernmental Conference and the relevant internal government procedures are carried out.
Comprehensive amendments and additions to the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS) and procedural instructions for the SMGS took effect starting from 1 July.
A joint working group between NC Kazakh Temir Zholy, Russian Railways and Belarusian Railway prepared proposals for the draft Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union, including with respect to the provision of preliminary information about goods being transported as well as the customs procedures for customs transit and the declaration of international transportation vehicles.
The Group’s activities within the format of the BRICS Business Council helped to further converge the positions of BRICS nations on matters concerning the development of joint commercial projects.
Russian Railways Group’s cooperation with European partners
The Russian Railways Group’s interaction with European partners primarily focused on the design and manufacturing of new rolling stock and its introduction to the national railway network. In 2015, Russian Railways continued work to strengthen cooperation with global railway engineering leaders such as Siemens, Alstom, Bombardier, Talgo, Knorr Bremse and others. Further progress was also made in matters concerning the localisation of advanced rolling stock production in Russia and the introduction of environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies to the Russian railway network.
In addition, Russian Railways continued to promote a project to set up a new Eurasian transportation corridor jointly with the railway administrations and transportation agencies of Austria, Slovakia and Ukraine.