July 25 - GAC Russia is expanding eastwards with the opening of new branches in Nakhodka and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Operations at the two new GAC bases will be headed up by newly-appointed shipping director Michael Khmelkov. The branches will offer a range of services, including shipping and logistics for the region's offshore projects.

GAC Russia's general manager Arkady Podkopaev said: "The time is now right for us to expand eastwards to provide the GAC brand of professional ship agency and husbandry services to our customers operating in the Far East, which has a coastline of over 5,000 miles and covers 22 maritime ports."

As Russia focuses on developing political and economic relations with the Asia-Pacific region, in light of European and US sanctions, the country's Far East has moved to the top of the agenda, noted GAC.

The eastern region of Russia includes a free port zone covering Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Korsakov and several other ports, with close proximity to the borders of China and Japan.

"The region offers a wealth of business opportunities for our integrated services, and those opportunities are set to become even more plentiful as a result of the free port zone," added Podkopaev.