Back in Moscow after a tour of the Russian Far East, Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov warned that the region’s isolation from the Russian heartland is provoking separatist sentiments. In particular, he said, the high cost of rail transport makes imports from Pacific rim countries such as the U.S., China, and Korea cheaper and more attractive than goods transported from central Russia. He called for state rail subsidies to persuade the Far East to buy Russian goods. (Interfax, May 18)
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