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Russia, Germany, Poland, Belarus set up rail JV

Russian Railways, the country's rail monopoly, said Monday it had set up a joint venture with Germany, Poland and Belarus to streamline rail services and increase cargo traffic with Western Europe. 

The company said in a statement: „The main goal in setting up the joint venture is to streamline the transportation process, improve the quality of services, and increase the volume of freight shipments along International Transport Corridor No. 2 linking Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.” Russian Railways' share in the joint venture, Eurasia Rail Logistics, is 40.1%, Germany's Deutsche Bahn holds 34.9%, and Poland holds 15%. The venture has charter capital of 1.7 billion rubles ($65.3 million).

The company is expected to help coordinate differences in the four countries' transportation, customs, border and technological rules and thereby cut travel times and increase the volume of shipments. The countries within the transport corridor are considering extending the route to Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, and linking it to the Siberian rail network, eventually creating an alternative trade link between Europe and Pacific Rim nations. (