Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, was born 30 June 1948 in Melenki town of the Vladimir Region. In 1972 he graduated from Leningrad Mechanic Institute and started his career as a junior associate of the State Institute of Applied Chemistry. After the field duty Vladimir got a job of an engineer, and chief engineer of the Board of the USSR Council of Ministers State Committee of foreign economic relations, and then – as the chief of the Physics-Technical Institute named after A.F. Yoffe. In 1985-1991 – he is a diplomacy worker (second, and later the first secretary of the permanent representation of the USSR in the UN.
The next position of Vladimir Yakunin was the chairman of the Board of Directors of the “International Centre of Business Cooperation”; the chief of the district inspection of the control office of the RF president. In October 2002 Yakunin became the deputy of the minister of transport of the Russian Federation, and in February 2002 – the first deputy of the minister of lines of communication. On 24 October 2004 the Russian Railways Board of Directors of by a solid vote appointed Vladimir Yakunin the first vice-president of Russian Railways. On 14 June 2005 Yakunin was appointed president of Russian Railways, by a decree of the Russian government.
As specialists mark, the company Russian Railways has all chances for the further successful development and promotion, and the way the development appears strongly depends on the administration of the company, modernization of the equipment, and cooperation with other organizations. As for the modernization, in 2007 the company intends to spend nearly 8,6 billion dollars, which is much bigger than the financing in 2006.
Today one of the main goals of the company is increasing the speed of passenger and freight transportation. This will let Russian Railways increase the rail traffic and become a worthful competitor to cars and other kinds of transport. It is also especially important to organize high-speed traffic in the view of usage of the potential of Russian as a transit country on the way of cargo flows between Europe and Asia.
In 2004 Vladimir Yakunin developed a strategic plan of increasing the capitalization of Russian Railways: to present the sub-companies on exchange. In this case private investors are needed for bringing to life expensive infrastructural projects.
In June 2007 it became known about the company being accepted to the European Regional Assembly of the International Union of Railways. Vladimir Yakunin got a letter from the head of the Assembly, and the letter contained a proposal to join the organization. This opens new perspectives for adapting to the integration processes in Europe that help in formation of the world market of transport services. According to the president of Russian Railways, Russia is interested in realization of the project on creation of the northern transport corridor “East-West”, which will let the country use its economical and transport potential in full.