• Russian Post has expressed plans to launch a regular mail train that will run between Moscow and Beijing.

Russian Post has expressed plans to launch a regular mail train that will run between Moscow and Beijing. (Photo : REUTERS)

A regular mail train will soon run between Moscow and Beijing as Russian Post, the national postal operator of the country, announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9, plans to launch the service as part of efforts to develop Russia's mail delivery service and to support China’s Silk Road initiative, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

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"A mail train consisting of 18 special mail cars instead of cars hitched to passenger trains will circulate between Moscow and Beijing," Dmitry Strashnov, chief executive of Russian Post, told RIA Novosti news agency.

According to Strashnov, a "powerful and reliable logistics route" between Europe and Asia is being jointly developed by his company and Russian Railways, to connect China-proposed initiatives on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the vision with the grand blueprint in 2013, which includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, with Russia being an integral part of the land route.

"Currently, there is much talk about the Silk Road (Economic Belt) and about opportunities it presents for the transit business," Strashnov said, adding that "Russian Post will put the ideas into practice in the next three years."

Russian Post started mail delivery service to China last year, based on a strategic railway cooperation agreement signed by the two countries in 2014.

Last September, Russian Post and China Post signed an agreement promising to strengthen cooperation and promote cross-border and online trade.

Russian Post has made great efforts to transform the company into a modern, profitable postal service. The post has been previously known for months-long delivery delays and leaving a backlog of 500 tons of parcels at Moscow airports in 2013.

The Moscow Times reported in January that Russian Post also launched Post Bank, a new state bank to serve Russia's remote regions by partnering with VTB24, the retail banking arm of state-owned VTB group.

According to the report, Post Bank has access to infrastructure and around 40,000 offices operated by Russian Post, allowing it to expand at less cost.