Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 May / Trend E.Kosolapova /
Azerbaijan and Russia are successfully cooperating in the field of transport, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told Trend on Friday.
"We have traditionally good relations not only at the level of our teams, but also at a personal level with my Azerbaijani counterpart," Sokolov said at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig.
According to Sokolov, Azerbaijan and Russia are developing and implementing a number of joint projects which are gradually moving forward.
In particular, the most important project to date is the new bridge across the River Samur. According to the minister, the project was recently discussed at a meeting with the Acting President of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov.
In addition, according to Sokolov, the parties are developing the Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran transit railway project.
"Work in underway within the North-South project and the optimal route is being selected. However, it is still too early to talk about the concrete results of the project," Sokolov said.
As explained by the Assistant Minister of Transport of Russia, Yuri Petrov, the governments of Azerbaijan and Russia are considering two options to address the issue of the border crossing over the River Samur.
The first option provides for the reconstruction of the existing bridge which is currently in poor condition, he said. The second option allows for construction of a new bridge near the old one. Petrov said experts from both countries are inclined to think that construction of the new bridge would be more cost-effective.
"However, even in the case of construction of a new bridge, reconstruction of the old one may not be excluded in the future for provision of pedestrian and vehicular crossings, while the new bridge will be used to transport goods," Petrov said.
However, it is necessary to conclude an intergovernmental agreement for the implementation of each of these projects, Petrov said. Drafts of these agreements have been prepared and are under consideration by the governments. The dates for signing the agreements have not yet been determined.