- The new town will hold 60,000 residents.
- Thus far half of the construction has been completed.
- Ust-luga has close proximity to the former Soviet Block baltic nations.
Russia is building a new town named Ust-Luga. It is located 30km from the European Union’s (EU) border. The exact location is in the Kingiseppsky District of Leningrad Oblast, situated on the Luga River near its entry into the Luga Bay of the Gulf of Finland. This location is about 110km west of St. Petersburg. Ust-Luga has a 60,000 resident capacity. So far, it is 50% finished and they are already moving people into the town. The final phase will be completed by 2030.
It is expected to have close to 100 factories. Ust-luga has a brand new sea port and the largest one in the Baltic region. It is expected to become the largest port on the continent. One of the plants will have methanol production by 2023. Methanol was used during World War II by the German military as fuel. Methanol is also an essential hydrogen carrier fuel to power light-weight fuel cells for both military and consumer electronics applications. China is one of the largest consumers of methanol globally.
Russia has been unusually quiet about the new town, whose strategic location makes it ideal for Russia’s military appetite. From a geopolitical and military prospective, access to waterways is very important for a myriad of reasons. A majority of the town is low rise construction and residences, allowing for unobstructed views.
NATO has not looked at this town’s construction seriously. So far there are no reports or warnings from bordering nations of a possible new security threat to the EU.
According to Russian social media, people are already working in the town. As you enter, you are required to provide certain access identifications for the specific areas of the town that have already been occupied. Russian news claims the Ust-Luga port has already moved over 62 million tonnes of cargo in the past 6 months.
Estonia should be concerned about the location and its close proximity to their borders. Especially since Putin’s agenda is to resurrect the Soviet Union. There is also a big unknown with the SMART Treaty expiring in 2021.
Russia boasted previously of their ability to take jobs from the former Soviet block nations in the Baltic region. If the Kremlin can’t convince Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to join peacefully and end NATO cooperation, the other avenue is to take away jobs and to sabotage the already limited economies of these three nations. Vladimir Putin is tying to force the nations to succumb to Russian needs in order to survive. NATO needs the Baltic states for defensive and military purposes, due to their geopolitical location and close proximity to Russian borders.
One thing is for certain, there is never a clear cut answer when it comes to Putin and his dreams of empire.