Russia will increase the overall length of its underground systems by 60% by 2015. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Chairman of the Russian State Construction Department Nikolai Koshman today. Expansion of the underground system will be part of a government programme to develop underground systems by 2015. Total costs over the 13-year period will come to USD 13.68 billion. A further 227.4 kilometres of underground lines will be built by 2015 and 139 metro stations in 12 Russian cities including Chelyabinsk, Samara, Nizhni Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. 80% of the funds will be provided by the regional budgets and 20% by the federal budget.
At present there are 436.14 kilometres of underground lines operating in Russia with 266 stations. Over 4.2 billion trips are made on the Russian underground every year. 'That is comparable to the total number of train journeys in the country,' Mr Koshman stressed. In his opinion, the Russian underground systems are not in the best state at present. The situation is particularly bad in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. He said the underground is unable to cope with the growing number of passengers in these cities. In Moscow the underground system requires a further 120 kilometres of tracks to be able to function properly. He said that by 2015 there should be 338 kilometres of underground lines in Moscow and 27 new stations in operation. There are plans to add 42 kilometres and 21 stations to the Saint Petersburg underground system.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge