Krasnoyarsk Region Upgrades Infrastructure To Become Central Russian Belt & Road East-West Hub

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Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Central Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Province is being reorganized under Central, rather than Regional Government funding as the area takes on special significance as part of China’s Belt & Road Initiative. Krasnoyarsk is impacted by Belt & Road as well as a vital Russian internal distribution axis via both land, ocean and sea routes. The reorganizing means that the region can access state level funding for development.

This means immediate development funding is being directed to five regional airports: Baikit, Khatanga Tura, Vanavara and Yeniseisk. Khatanga is the furthest north, while the other four are concentrated an hours flight around the regional capital of Krasnoyarsk itself, reflecting the commercial importance. The capital city sits on the Trans-Siberian railway and is just to the east of the Ural Mountains, close to other important cities such as Novosibirsk and Omsk. The Provincial territory extends to the Arctic Ocean and includes the worlds northern-most city of Norilsk. Further north is the Arctic Port of Dudinka, which is on the Yenisei River but deep enough to accept ocean-going shipping. These cities are linked to Krasnoyarsk by rail and air.

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Being central, Krasnoyarsk is not dissimilar in strategic importance to China’s Chongqing, a far larger, but nonetheless central regional and distribution hub for the Chinese, acting as a distribution point for goods across the huge Sichuan region and its massive population. It appears Krasnoyarsk is being earmarked as a Central Russian regional hub in a similar fashion: already connected to China and Europe by rail, its aviation infrastructure is also about to get a huge boost. Norilsk itself is the worlds largest producer of aluminium, while Chinese investors have also been snapping up manufacturing opportunities throughout the region. In doing so, we can see that China’s Belt & Road is having a huge impact on Russia, and the development of future Central and Siberian cities will very much be part of this.

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