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China 'ready to build new border transport crossing with Russia'

KHABAROVSK, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - China is ready to build a permanent border crossing with Russia on an island on the Amur River, recently relinquished by Russia as part of a border demarcation deal, a Russian paper said on Thursday.

On October 14, Russia officially relinquished control of the Tarabarov Island and about half of the Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, located at the confluence of the Amur and the Ussuri rivers, under a 2004 bilateral agreement with China.

According to the regional issue of the Kommersant business newspaper, a delegation from the Chinese state committee on development and reforms met on Monday with the minister of economic development for the Khabarovsk Territory in Russia's Far East, Alexander Levintal, to reach a preliminary agreement on the project, which may be worth up to 10 bln rubles ($373 mln).

"The daily traffic capacity of a new crossing point is estimated at 250 trucks, 50 buses and 1,500 tourists. It could become a major link in the transport corridor between China's northern provinces and the Khabarovsk Territory," the paper said.

Experts estimate the cost of the construction of a bridge over the Amur River to connect the Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island and the suburbs of the Russian city of Khabarovsk at about 4 bln rubles ($145 mln). The cost also includes transport infrastructure around the crossing

"The construction of the border crossing may begin in 2011 and last until 2013," the paper said, citing a local government official.

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