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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - State-owned China Railway Group (601390.SS) has signed a $2.5 billion memorandum of understanding with Russia to build a high-speed railway in the country, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.
President Xi Jinping has championed what China calls the "One Belt, One Road" initiative to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe, a landmark program to invest billions in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids.
The MOU was signed during the Fourth China Russia Exposition held in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, the paper said.
The line will run around 200 kms (125 miles) between Russia's third-largest city Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk, and is expected to cut the current journey time to 1 hour and 10 minutes from 5 hours, the paper reported China Railway saying.
Last year, China Railway signed overseas contracts worth a record 102.5 billion yuan ($15 billion) up 49.6 percent on a year earlier, according to the firm's annual report.
Reporting By Engen Tham; Editing by Richard Pullin