The presidential decree on the mobilization of Russians to continue the war with Ukraine hit the prospects of one of the most important projects for the Russian economy in the current conditions - the Eastern Range (a complex of railway lines to the East, primarily to China). The expansion of the infrastructure node was in jeopardy due to the fact that contractors began to lose their employees who were involved in the project. Kommersant writes about this with reference to the materials of the Russian Railways, prepared for a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.
The state-owned company claims that as a result of the mobilization of about 60% of the personnel involved in construction work to expand the BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway (included in the Eastern landfill), the contractors were not able to perform their work tasks. In addition to direct conscription into the Russian Armed Forces, the situation is complicated by the fact that many specialists are locked in their regions and cannot get to work. Moreover, some of the employees began to “run away” from representatives of the military registration and enlistment offices or even left the territory of Russia.
Representatives of Russian Railways claim that the project suffered from a shortage of personnel even before mobilization, it was precisely for this reason that military railway workers were involved in the construction, but now the situation is complicated by a shortage of highly qualified personnel that are necessary for complex technological work.
“First of all, they call on people with scarce professions (for example, machine operators, construction equipment drivers, electricians, bridge workers),” Russian Railways representatives write. According to the company's estimates, the mobilization in total affected more than 60% of all employees who are involved in the expansion of the Eastern range.
After the introduction of Western sanctions and the loss of the European market, China became the main export destination for Russia, however, the ban on entering foreign ports collapsed the trade turnover and closed the possibilities for sending ships there, as a result of which the main trade route to China became the railway, namely the Eastern Range . But the infrastructure could not cope with the load, because of which almost all export-oriented industries of the country suffer. Recently, Russian coal miners noted the impossibility of increasing supplies through the Eastern landfill due to rising prices for transportation by rail and limited track capacity.