Igor Levitin
Igor Yevgeniyevich Levitin (born February 21, 1952) is a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n political figure who has been Minister of Transport since March 9, 2004.

Between 1973 and 1980 Levitin served in the Soviet armed forces
Soviet Army
The Soviet Army is the name given to the main part of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992. Previously, it had been known as the Red Army. Informally, Армия referred to all the MOD armed forces, except, in some cases, the Soviet Navy.This article covers the Soviet Ground...

 in Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

 and then with the Armies Southern Division. From 1983 to 1985, he was Military Commandant of the Urgal station and Baikal
Baykal commonly refers to Lake Baikal in southern Siberia, Russia.Baykal or Baikal may also refer to:-Russia:*Baykal, Irkutsk Oblast, an urban-type settlement*Baykal, Aurgazinsky District, Republic of Bashkortostan, a village...

 and from 1985 to 1994, Military Commandant and Deputy Head of Moscow Military Railway Communications Service.

From 1994 to 1996, he was a member of the Railways Reform commission which created the Russian Railways Company as part of its reform program.

Between 1996 and 2004 he had worked for Severstaltrans, and was appointed deputy director in 1998 before eventually becoming Russian Transport Minister in 2004.

Developments under Levitin

Levitin met with Serik Akhmetov
Serik Akhmetov
Serik Nyghmetuly Akhmetov has served as the Minister of Transportation in the Government of Kazakhstan since President Nursultan Nazarbayev appointed him on 25 September 2006. Minister Akhmetov previously served as Deputy Governor of Astana...

, on 25 October 2006. Akhmetov proposed building a transport corridor using preexisting roads from southern Kazakhstan through Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

 and Orenburg
Orenburg is a city on the Ural River and the administrative center of Orenburg Oblast, Russia. It lies southeast of Moscow, very close to the border with Kazakhstan. Population: 546,987 ; 549,361 ; Highest point: 154.4 m...

 to St. Petersburg. Levitin said the Russian Government would consider the proposal, but that it wanted the corridor to go through Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located in the northwestern side of the oblast, south of Yekaterinburg, just to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the Miass River. Population: -History:...

. They also discussed the "transit of planes from Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 to Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

" and transportation through the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

. Levitin made a trip to Aqtau to further discuss sea transportation. On 9 November Akhmetov and Levitin met in Aqtau and signed an agreement that created a train and ferry link between Aqtau and Makhachkala ports. The first ferry carried 52 freight cars of grain and oil products on 10 November.
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