The Railroad Ministry of Russia plans to close 1,400 km of railways to mineral deposits where the reserves of raw materials have been exhausted. First Deputy Railroad Minister Alexander Misharin stated that over 20,000 km of Russian railways are considered unprofitable, and unprofitable routes take 70% of the Railroad Ministry's expenditures on maintenance of railways. In the deputy minister's view, after the closing of these railways it will be necessary to consider construction of new railways to newly opened oil and gas deposits. As Viktor Basargin, deputy authorized representative of the President of Russia in the Ural Federal District, stated, the district authorities had been repeatedly raising the question of the need for construction of railways to mineral deposits in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. According to him, nobody has dealt with this problem so far, and the mineral deposits of the north of Russia will not be explored without railways, the Uralinformburo news agency reported.
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