Sakhalin Island
© Global Look press / Sergei Fomine
Russia's Sakhalin island
Russia plans to complete an ambitious multi-billion-dollar construction project linking the mainland to Sakhalin Island in the Far East between 2030 and 2035, the head of the region has revealed.

The new bridge is expected to significantly boost trade, as it will provide access to year-round sea ports on the remote island, Sakhalin Region Governor Valery Limarenko told a local TV channel. The route could bring to the region "an important logistic function," as shipments from Japan to Europe could go through it, and some gas or oil refineries could be built along it.

"We think that the deadline is 2035, and some optimists believe that it will happen in 2030," he said, adding that Russian Railways has already started preliminary works.

Apart from the six-kilometer-long bridge along Nevelskoy Strait, the narrowest point between island and the mainland, the project also involves the construction of around 580km of railroad, as well as modernizing existing infrastructure.

Building a link to the Russian island has been discussed for decades. Last year, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to work on the issue and evaluate its financial viability. According to different estimates, construction could cost between 540 billion rubles (nearly $8.5 billion) and 638 billion rubles (more than $10 billion).