Putin was speaking at a ceremony to unveil the northern section of the Western High-Speed Diameter (WHSD), a new toll highway in the northwestern Russian metropolis of St. Petersburg.
"We hope private investors join such projects as the WHSD,” said Putin, who had driven a car to the ceremony’s venue. "We are now actively investing in the construction of the Central Ring Road [around Moscow], and in Siberian and far eastern projects.”
"I will remind you that a decision has been made to allocate 450 billion rubles [$13.6 billion] from the National Welfare Fund to important infrastructural projects, plus we will increase private investment,” the president said.
Putin congratulated construction workers and engineers involved in the effort to build the highway. He called it one of the most important investment projects in the country.
The WHSD is "another step to resolve transportation problems in St. Petersburg and across Russia’s northwest, to improve road safety and the environmental situation,” the Russian leader said.