London to New York? Skip flying the Atlantic and hop a 13,000-mile superhighway connecting the two via Moscow. That’s the plan a pal of Vladimir Putin's is proposing to create the first modern roadway from the Pacific to the Atlantic, Fox News reports. And while Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin concedes the ultra-ambitious endeavor would cost "trillions" of dollars, he insists it would create tons of jobs and build up the remotest regions of Siberia and the Far East, Fox notes. "This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project," Yakunin said recently. The transport route would include roadways, as well as a high-speed rail from Europe to Asia, oil and gas pipelines, and electrical and water facilities, the Siberian Times reported this week.
The project would hook up 6,000 miles of Russian bridges and roads; it would then link up to European roads in the west and stretch east from Siberia's Chukotka area (right across the Bering Strait from Alaska) into North America. Of course, no one is saying yet how anyone would span the 55-mile Bering Strait (bridge, tunnel, ferry, floating dogsled?), which Fox describes as "a major obstacle except in the context of Yakunin’s massive proposed undertaking." Of course, because Russia's often all about Russia, Yakunin also mentioned in the meeting that the route would make Russia top dog in a new, high-tech world, slamming (as the Times puts it) "Western-style globalization … [which] is no longer seen as an incentive but as a hindrance on the economic, scientific, moral, and spiritual development of society." (So how's that underwater tunnel crossing the Strait going?)