Flag-raising ceremony on Marshal Rokossovsky ferry
The President took part, via videoconference, in the ceremony to raise the national flag of the Russian Federation on the ferry Marshal Rokossovsky.
March 4, 2022
Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region
The¬†Marshal Rokossovsky is Russia's first Arc4 ice-class dual-fuel ferry designed to¬†carry railway cars with Russia's standard gauge of¬†1,520 mm, as¬†well as¬†highway freighters and¬†passenger cars. The¬†first railway cars will be rolled onto the¬†ferry on¬†March¬†4, after which it will operate on¬†the¬†Ust-Luga¬†- Baltiysk line.
Using eco-friendly fuel on¬†the¬†ferry will reduce CO2 emissions by¬†20 to¬†30 percent compared to¬†similar ships running on¬†traditional heavy fuel, as¬†well as¬†achieve a¬†more than 90 percent reduction in¬†nitrogen oxide emissions and¬†eliminate sulphur oxide and¬†soot emissions altogether.
The¬†flag-raising ceremony took place on¬†the¬†car and¬†auto ferry complex at¬†Ust-Luga, a¬†seaport in¬†the¬†Leningrad Region.
Taking part in¬†the¬†ceremony, also by¬†videoconference from Moscow, were Minister of¬†Transport Vitaly Savelyev and¬†Russian Railways CEO¬†- Chairman of¬†the¬†Executive Board Oleg Belozerov, while Governor of¬†the¬†Leningrad Region Alexander Drozdenko, General Director of¬†Rosmorport Sergei Pylin and¬†his deputy for¬†fleet management Vasily Strugov, as¬†well as¬†the¬†ferry's captain Alexander Vangonen joined the¬†event via videoconference from the¬†Leningrad Region, and¬†Governor of¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region Anton Alikhanov participated from the¬†Kaliningrad Region.
* * *
Speech at¬†the¬†flag-raising ceremony
President of¬†Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, good afternoon,
I¬†am glad to¬†see all of¬†you.
In¬†just a¬†few minutes, Russia's state flag will be raised above the¬†new car and¬†auto ferry, named in¬†honour of¬†our great military commander, two-time Hero of¬†the¬†Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky.
Already today, this state-of-the-art vessel will sail off to¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region carrying essential goods for¬†its residents, as¬†well as¬†construction materials and¬†other cargo for¬†the¬†key sectors of¬†the¬†region's economy. The¬†overall shipments between Ust-Luga and¬†Baltiysk will increase more than 1.5-fold to¬†two million tonnes per year. The¬†new ferry will be able to¬†navigate the¬†high seas even in¬†the¬†most challenging weather conditions and¬†sail the¬†winter seas without being accompanied by¬†an¬†icebreaker.
Thanks to¬†the¬†maritime transport of¬†this class, we can guarantee strong reliable connections between Russia's western outposts and¬†the¬†rest of¬†the¬†country. This means that, no matter what happens, we can ensure decent living conditions for¬†people, opportunities for¬†further improvement of¬†the¬†industrial, social and¬†tourist infrastructure in¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region, for¬†uninterrupted supplies and¬†the¬†continuous operation of¬†companies and¬†facilities in¬†the¬†region.
I¬†want to¬†thank all those who participated in¬†this extremely important transport project, for¬†their hard work. Resources of¬†the¬†state and¬†the¬†potential of¬†Russia's leading companies and¬†research institutions that offered advanced technical solutions, including eco-friendly solutions, were focused on¬†this project.
This ferry can operate on¬†LNG or¬†diesel fuel but with high environmental parameters, which should reduce hazardous emissions by¬†more than 90 percent and¬†protect the¬†environment and¬†the¬†waters of¬†the¬†Baltic Sea.
The¬†General Chernyakhovsky ferry, which is currently under construction, also has similar modern characteristics. The¬†Marshal Vasilevsky tanker with gas liquefaction equipment that will provide an¬†autonomous gas supply to¬†Russia's western outpost, if necessary, is already anchored in¬†the¬†port of¬†Kaliningrad.
It is symbolic that these modern and¬†technology-intensive vessels are named after our outstanding military commanders who liberated our country and¬†the¬†rest of¬†the¬†world from Nazism. For¬†these truly courageous people and¬†true patriots, the¬†independence and¬†sovereignty of¬†our Fatherland mattered more than anything else. They saved and¬†protected our country, showing us, future generations, that we must be strong and¬†keep moving forwards.
No matter how hard and¬†difficult it may be, we will continue our development. We will improve the¬†transport and¬†logistics infrastructure across the¬†entire country and, of¬†course, in¬†the¬†Baltics, on¬†our Arctic territories and¬†the¬†Russian Far East, including the¬†construction of¬†new modern ferries for¬†Sakhalin and¬†the¬†Kuril Islands. I¬†am certain that our companies, design and¬†engineering bureaux will be able to¬†fulfil these tasks.
Now I¬†want to¬†pass the¬†floor to¬†Minister of¬†Transport Vitaly Savelyev who will present a¬†report.
Mr Savelyev, please.
Minister of¬†Transport Vitaly Savelyev: Thank you.
Mr President, colleagues,
I¬†am happy to¬†salute you at¬†the¬†ceremony of¬†raising the¬†state flag of¬†the¬†Russian Federation on¬†our new ferry, the¬†Marshall Rokossovsky. The¬†launch of¬†a¬†new ferry is a¬†very important, symbolic event for¬†us.
The¬†ferry can carry up to¬†80 carriages or¬†78 vehicles. Importantly, the¬†speed of¬†loading it will be four times faster than on¬†existing ferries¬†- as¬†few as¬†five hours instead of¬†20.
As¬†you have said, Mr President, this year we expect one more ferry of¬†the¬†same class to¬†be completed, which will be named in¬†honour of¬†General Chernyakhovsky. Both ferries will operate on¬†the¬†Ust-Luga¬†- Baltiysk line, thus making the¬†Kaliningrad Region more accessible to¬†transport. Indicatively, in¬†the¬†future, both ferries will be used in¬†the¬†autonomous ship navigation project.
Marine transport is moving ahead in¬†the¬†wake of¬†digitisation. All this is making the¬†process of¬†transport management more efficient. New ferries are yet another step in¬†ensuring reliable transport access to¬†our entire territory. We will continue to¬†further develop marine transport.
I¬†wish success to¬†all my¬†colleagues.
I¬†am grateful for¬†your attention. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Savelyev.
Mr Alikhanov, Governor of¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region. Go ahead, please.
Kaliningrad Region Governor Anton Alikhanov: Mr President, colleagues,
Mr President, I¬†would like to¬†thank you for¬†the¬†attention that you personally devote to¬†issues related to¬†the¬†development of¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region.
As¬†mentioned earlier, the¬†ferry Marshall Rokossovsky is the¬†first ferry built under the¬†plan for¬†ensuring transport access to¬†the¬†Kaliningrad Region. This plan is aimed at¬†ensuring the¬†transport security of¬†our region.
For¬†our region, ferry transport is the¬†only way of¬†maintaining regular connections with the¬†rest of¬†the¬†Russian Federation, which does not depend on¬†the¬†policy of¬†adjacent states.
The¬†new ferry will substantially improve logistical access to¬†our region under any possible restrictions on¬†passage via the¬†territory of¬†adjacent states. It will remove the¬†risks of¬†the¬†lack of¬†alternative routes for¬†the¬†delivery of¬†socially important and¬†special cargo via the¬†Baltic states.
Mr President, I¬†would like to¬†once again thank you and¬†our colleagues from the¬†Government, who have worked actively on¬†this project.
And¬†of¬†course, we are looking forward to¬†receiving the¬†other new ferry. We are ready to¬†load it with products made in¬†our region for¬†the¬†needs of¬†other regions in¬†the¬†Russian Federation.
Thank you very much. I¬†wish you a¬†safe trip.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Alikhanov, you have mentioned neighbouring countries. I¬†would like to¬†stress once again that we have¬†- we have always said this¬†- no evil intentions with regard to¬†our neighbours. I¬†would like to¬†advise them not to¬†foment tensions either and¬†refrain from introducing restrictions.
We fulfil and¬†will continue to¬†fulfil all our obligations, and¬†we see no need to¬†increase tensions or¬†make our relations worse. All our actions, if they arise, are always taken solely in¬†response to¬†unfriendly actions with respect to¬†the¬†Russian Federation.
I¬†think everyone should give consideration to¬†the¬†need to¬†normalise relations and¬†cooperate in¬†a¬†normal way, to¬†promote relations in¬†a¬†normal way. As¬†for¬†projects like this, they certainly increase logistical independence, and¬†we will continue working on¬†this.
Please, I¬†see that this event is being attended by¬†Mr Belozerov, CEO of¬†Russian Railways, our leading company.
Mr Belozerov, if you have something to¬†add to¬†what has been said by¬†our colleagues, please do.
General Director and¬†Chairman of¬†the¬†Executive Board of¬†Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov: Thank you very much.
Mr President, colleagues,
The¬†raising of¬†the¬†Russian Federation state flag on¬†the¬†Marshal Rokossovsky ferry and¬†the¬†commissioning of¬†the¬†ferry is a¬†new qualitative step in¬†the¬†development of¬†the¬†mixed railway-ferry service.
Jointly with the¬†sailors, we are confidently progressing towards the¬†implementation of¬†the¬†plans to¬†ensure our country's full transport connectivity. In¬†the¬†two months since the¬†start of¬†2021, the¬†railway-ferry service has grown by¬†one-quarter and¬†we expect a¬†strong increase in¬†the¬†future.
In¬†addition to¬†advanced seaworthiness, the¬†new ferry will create additional opportunities for¬†cutting costs and¬†implementing technological operations. We have always focused on¬†ensuring the¬†reliability and¬†stability of¬†the¬†railway-ferry service and¬†will do so in¬†the¬†future.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Leningrad Region Governor Drozdenko, please go ahead. One of¬†the¬†points, the¬†point where we are now, the¬†port of¬†Ust-Luga, is located in¬†the¬†Leningrad Region.
Please go ahead.
Governor of¬†the¬†Leningrad Region Alexander Drozdenko: Mr President, colleagues,
For¬†us, the¬†Leningrad Region, it is a¬†great honour to¬†have the¬†Rosmorport-commissioned Marshal Rokossovsky ferry, which is Russia's first dual-fuel road and¬†rail ferry, and¬†which was built at¬†the¬†Nevsky Shipyard in¬†St Petersburg.
This shows that we can build modern sea vessels and¬†sea ferries. Another ferry, Army General Ivan Chernyakhovsky, is under construction. These ferries will be instrumental in¬†connecting the¬†Leningrad Region, Russia and¬†Kaliningrad. They will provide a¬†reliable transport link.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Drozdenko, we have discussed this issue with you before. Today, I¬†discussed it with the¬†President of¬†Belarus. Our Belarusian friends are interested in¬†having a¬†presence in¬†the¬†Baltic Sea area and¬†are interested in¬†developing their own port facilities.
As¬†you are aware, I¬†support this project, and¬†I¬†asked you to¬†come up with whatever assistance you can provide. This would be various locations, points and¬†structures where our Belarusian friends can pursue these projects. I¬†will not go into detail now as¬†the¬†alternatives vary, and¬†you are aware of¬†this. I¬†would like to¬†revisit this issue later, and¬†I¬†want you to¬†support these plans.
They are important for¬†Belarus, and¬†for¬†us as¬†well, because they involve the¬†expansion of¬†our infrastructure, the¬†development of¬†our coastal areas, and¬†an¬†increase in¬†cargo volume for¬†our country. Accordingly, the¬†benefits derived by¬†Belarus will largely overflow into our economy. We are interested in¬†promoting this project, so I¬†want you to¬†support these undertakings. But this is just a¬†side note.
And¬†now I¬†would like to¬†give the¬†floor to¬†the¬†captain of¬†the¬†Marshal Rokossovsky, Mr Vangonen.
Please, Mr Vangonen.
Captain of¬†the¬†Marshal Rokossovsky vessel Alexander Vangonen: Mr President of¬†the¬†Russian Federation,
The¬†ferry Marshal Rokossovsky has successfully completed its journey from the¬†shipyard to¬†its home port. At¬†this time, the¬†ship is fully ready to¬†begin service on¬†the¬†Ust-Luga¬†- Baltiysk line.
I¬†am asking for¬†your permission to¬†raise the¬†state flag of¬†the¬†Russian Federation.
Vladimir Putin: Permission granted to¬†raise the¬†state flag of¬†the¬†Russian Federation.
Alexander Vangonen: Raise the¬†national flag of¬†the¬†Russian Federation.
(The¬†Russian anthem plays.)
The¬†national flag of¬†the¬†Russian Federation has been raised.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Vangonen.
I¬†would like to¬†say a¬†few words to¬†conclude this ceremony, the¬†important event we are attending today.
The¬†national flag of¬†Russia has been raised on¬†the¬†Marshal Rokossovsky ferry. I¬†repeat, the¬†ship has been engineered in¬†our design bureaux using innovative domestic technology.
True, it has been an¬†international project that included many of¬†our partners, including some of¬†our foreign partners. We are aware of¬†this, but the¬†innovative solutions used are actually Russian.
We have repeatedly shown and¬†are ready to¬†prove once again that if someone does not want to¬†cooperate with us and¬†they are prepared to¬†harm themselves like this, they will, of¬†course, harm us too, but how? We will just have to¬†shift a¬†few projects to¬†the¬†right a¬†little, gain some additional competencies¬†- just as¬†we have for¬†a¬†number of¬†other projects, for¬†example, in¬†aviation¬†- but we will attain our goals nevertheless, we will solve our problems anyway. And¬†what's more, we will even ultimately benefit from this because, as¬†I¬†said, we will acquire additional competencies. We are capable of¬†solving such problems.
This is how we must implement all our plans for¬†social, economic and¬†infrastructure development¬†- based on¬†the¬†most advanced environmental and¬†technological standards so that our projects and¬†products contribute to¬†high quality of¬†life for¬†the¬†people and¬†the¬†national economy's resilience against external shock. As¬†I¬†have said, we will certainly resolve these problems.
I¬†would like to¬†wish you all great successes, and¬†to¬†the¬†crew of¬†the¬†Marshal Rokossovsky, successful work.
Thank you all very much. Thank you.
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