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Russians will soon have to pay tolls

Ministry of Transportation and Communication of the Russian Federation intends to introduce a list of freeways that will be subject to tolls starting October 1st, stated minister of transportation and communication Igor Levitin in the course of the Thursday's briefing.

According to him, the list of the roads will be introduced with the final draft of the “Freeways of Russia” program, reports “Interfax”.

“On October 1 2004, we will present a program where we will announce the turnpikes and set a toll price,” stated the minister. He did not provide any estimates. He did mention however that he will not depend on investors, informs RIA “Novosti.”

At the same time, Igor Levitin presumed that along with alternative free of charge freeways, such toll plazas will be installed on freeways in those regions with the most solvent population.

He also mentioned the fact that all roads can in fact be turned into turnpikes thus making drivers pay for the ride. “In the meantime, due to the lack of proper legislature, construction of such turnpikes has to be postponed,” said Igor Levitin.

The first turnpikes are planned to be constructed in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, according to the minister. It is also planned that these construction works will begin in Moscow, then move to St.Petersburg and then will be moving towards Finland, reports Lenta.Ru.

The minister also remarked that the Ministry of Transportation will also build alternative toll-free routes parallel to those turnpikes.