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The launch of a high-speed railway between Moscow and St Petersburg and the 7th power unit at the Leningrad NPP

March 14, 2024, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

The President took part, via videoconference, in a ceremony to launch the full-scale implementation of the project to build a high-speed railway between Moscow and St Petersburg and to pour cement into the foundation of the nuclear island for the 7th power unit at the Leningrad NPP.

The railway line will pass through six areas with a population of about 30 million – [the cities of] Moscow and St Petersburg and the Leningrad, Novgorod, Tver and Moscow regions. The new railway will cut travel time between the two capitals to two hours and 15 minutes if the train runs with no stops en route.

The Leningrad NPP opened in 1973 and has been generating 55 percent of the electricity needs of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The 7th power unit is scheduled to be launched in 2030. It is being constructed with the use of cutting-edge technology that meets international and Russian safety requirements.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Today we will launch two major construction projects: the 7th power unit at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant and a high-speed railway between Moscow and St Petersburg.

Both of them require a lot of hard work. I wish success to everyone who will take part in these projects. I am confident that all our plans will be implemented at the highest professional level.

I would like to point out that these two projects are extremely important for our economy and industry, for building up our infrastructure, technological and energy potential, for developing our regions and improving the quality of people’s lives.

It is necessary to emphasise that we must use primarily Russian solutions and equipment during construction. This is crucial for the further strengthening of the country’s technological independence.

I would like to remind you that this task was set in my Address to the Federal Assembly, when I also announced the launch of national projects aimed at our technological sovereignty, including regarding all types of transport, as well as nuclear and energy technologies, where domestic technologies account for 99 percent of the solutions. The implementation of these projects will become a powerful impetus for the technological modernisation of industry and the qualitative growth of our economy as a whole.

I would like to note that Russia is the world leader in nuclear technology. We are helping foreign countries develop their nuclear energy industry almost from scratch. An entire industry is being built; specialists undergo training and the infrastructure is developed in conformity with the strictest environmental standards. Today, Rosatom is building 22 energy units in seven countries.

We are also active in developing the nuclear energy industry inside the country. We are planning to bring the share of nuclear power generation in Russia’s overall energy balance to 25 percent by 2045.

A new, efficient energy unit at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant will be a good contribution to these efforts. Its launch will enhance energy security in the entire Northwestern Federal District of Russia and will provide consumers with greener, cleaner electricity for years ahead.

In general, the opening of new social and industrial facilities and the implementation of large infrastructure projects, including high-speed railways, largely depend on the development of the nuclear power industry and other generating capacities throughout the country.

As I mentioned earlier, the railway between Moscow and St Petersburg will become a flagship, starting stage in this respect. It will pass through six regions of the Federation with about 30 million people. This is around 20 percent of Russia’s entire population.

In perspective, such dedicated high-speed routes will also connect other Russian regions and will facilitate the growth of tourism and business activity.

What else is important to note? The high-speed railway project implies large-scale production cooperation and the participation of many labour collectives and engineering teams. Hence, it will provide many branches of our economy with a good impetus for development. We will take one more step towards strengthening our national technological sovereignty.

We recently discussed with our colleagues the main approaches to fulfilling this large project. Now it is time to move to practical implementation. However, I must say – and everyone involved in this work knows – that we discussed this subject a long time ago. But now we are financially, economically and technologically mature enough to carry out this large and necessary project for our economy. Let’s get started.


March 14, 2024, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region