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55

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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CHAPTER IV
RUSSIA’S TRANSPORT SERVICES
IF normal economic relations between Europe and
Russia are to be restored, the first condition must
be that the countries concerned possess technical
apparatus capable of transporting the products of
exchange.
In what state, then, are the Russian communi
cations by water and land?
The inland transport by river, canal and lake
has in recent years been equal to about a quarter
of what it was before the war. For 1913 it was
about 2>7 million tons, and for six months of 1922
only 4-3 millions. This reduction is due in part to
the circumstance that the inland fleet stands very
greatly in need of repair, and in part to the fact
that trade in Russia itself has dwindled so much.
According to a report which I have just received
from my representative in Astrakhan, the traffic
on the Volga and Kama has been quite consider
able, notwithstanding all the difficulties that have
had to be overcome. In the course of 1922 there
were shipped from Astrakhan three million tons
of goods, chiefly crude oil.
By way of comparison between the state of
things before the war and now, it may be of
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