Russian President Vladimir Putin criticised the imports of rolling stock products and questioned the necessity of such imports, during the meeting with Government members, making direct reference to the seven passenger trains (140 coaches) bought by Russian Railways from Spanish company Patentes Talgo. In reply, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that the contract was signed back in 2011 at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. “Currently, 85% of the payments under this contract have already been committed, and 120 of the 140 cars have already been delivered. Therefore, the contract is nearing completion. No other significant contracts for the purchase of imported rolling stock products have been signed by Russian Railways or its subsidiaries”, he added.
According to Vedomosti newspaper, since 2006 the total value of international orders reaches EUR 1.2 billion and includes:
- EUR 276 million – 2006, contract with Siemens for the supply of 8 Velaro Rus train sets
- EUR 120 million – 2007, contract with Alstom for the supply four electric dual power supply Pendolino Sm6
- EUR 410 million – 2009, contract with Siemens for the supply of 38 Desiro Rus
- EUR 135 million – 2011, contract with Patentes Talgo for the supply of seven passenger trains
- EUR 297 million – 2011, contract with Siemens for the supply of further 8 Velaro Rus train sets
During the same meeting, the Finance Minister Anton Siluanov informed that VTB Bank will make available by the end of the week a first tranche of RUB 15 bn (EUR 211 million) to Russian Railways for rolling stock acquisition. Last year VTB acquired RUB 100 billion federal OFZ bonds from the Russian National Wealth Fund.
“By the end of the week, the bank will make available the first tranche of 15 billion rubles to Russian Railways for buying rolling stock. Over the next few days, this money, currently in the form of loans, will reach specific rolling stock manufacturers”, said Siluanov.