Iran, Russia to complete International North-South Transport Corridor

SHANA (Tehran) – Iran and Russia signed an agreement to build Rasht-Astara railway in order to complete the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

The agreement to build Rasht-Astara railway is an important step in International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), and we believe if the missing part is completed, we will see a great change in the route connecting the two countries, Novak said at a press conference at the closing ceremony of the first business-to-business (B2B) meeting and the meeting of the Permanent Russian-‎Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation held at Kushk Hall Center in Tehran on Wednesday.

It is one of the biggest transit projects between Iran and Russia, he said, adding, “The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) consists of three parts in west, east and Caspian coast. The western and eastern parts are railways and pass through the neighboring countries, and the sea part of the corridor is along the Caspian coast.”

The project is going to be carried out by Iranian and Russian companies, he added.

The route currently has the capacity to carry 15 million tons of cargos, which could increase to 30-60 million tons if we could boost trade cooperation among countries. Therefore, it could be an appropriate alternative to the Suez Canal to transport goods and cargos as it is highly cost-saving and time-efficient, Novak noted.

Currently, 1.6 billion euros of investments have been estimated for the project, which is expected to start next year, he noted.

Logistics infrastructure and equipment need to be provided for loading and unloading in ports in order to increase the route’s capacity, he said, adding thus, Russian companies have visited the equipment, and they are currently in talks to improve logistics capacity in northern Iran.

Iran-Russia banking interactions

In addition to the energy area, Iran and Russia signed a customs agreement, Novak said, adding the two sides also held talks about using national currencies in their banking transactions.

Moreover, Novak said the two sides managed to investigate the issues in agriculture, industries, banking and other areas within the Permanent Russian-‎Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation and agreed to solve the problems as fast as it is possible in order to avoid harms to the two countries’ trade.

News ID 472734


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