The government refused to build roads to pay for the war

The Russian government has decided not to finance large road construction projects in order to save money in the budget, a third of which should go to pay for the war and law enforcement agencies.

According to Kommersant, new construction projects in the regions were excluded from the new 5-year plan of the Ministry of Transport, with the exception of single objects in large cities.

In particular, the Orekhovo-Zuyevo bypass project in the Moscow Region fell under the knife: if the initial start of construction was planned for 2025, now we are talking only about designing from 2026 with a reduction in funding by almost 14 times – from 20.5 to 1 .5 billion rubles. A similar fate befell the southern bypass of Krasnodar: construction was postponed, and appropriations were cut 19 times – from 28.9 to 1.5 billion rubles.

The fate of the second ring road around St. Petersburg (KAD-2) and the Meridian highway, which was supposed to stretch from the border of Kazakhstan to Belarus, was hanging in the air: construction plans were postponed indefinitely, and now it is only a matter of design. Almost four times – from 15.3 to 4 billion rubles – the financing of the South-Western Expressway (Yekaterinburg-Samara-Krasnodar) was cut, and work to improve the main highways of the capital region was excluded from the plan altogether.

The five-year plan was changed taking into account the prioritization of objects on the basis of the adopted budget law, the Ministry of Transport explained to Kommersant. According to the document, the cost of construction and reconstruction of federal highways has been reduced by 2.5 times – from 449 to 174 billion rubles. Transfers to the regions from the Federal Highway Fund were cut by 14% – from 375 to 324 billion rubles. The total expenditures under the state program for the development of the transport system have been reduced by 26% – from 1.653 to 1.229 trillion rubles.

At the same time, spending on the army has been increased by almost 1.5 times compared to the budget law adopted last year – up to 5 trillion rubles. The government will spend another 4.2 trillion rubles under the “national security” item, which includes the budgets of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Guard, the Federal Penitentiary Service and special services.

The authorities decided to abandon road projects due to “reformatting the economy,” Andrey Mukhortikov, a member of the public council under the Ministry of Transport of the Moscow Region, explains: “difficult” years are ahead, there will be no super incomes.

According to the projects of the Ministry of Finance, the 2023 budget was drawn up with a deficit of 2.9 trillion rubles. In reality, the “hole” can reach 4.5 trillion rubles, VTB analysts previously estimated: the treasury is rapidly losing revenue from oil, which has to be sold at discounts of up to 40%.

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