Head of Russian Railways Hopes to Reach Agreement with Azerbaijan and Iran on North-South Project
Russia, Moscow/ corr. Trend R.Agayev / Attended by the representatives of the railway companies of more than fourty countries around the world, the 70th meeting of the General Assembly of the International Railway Union (IRU) took place on the 18th of June in Moscow. The representatives of the State Railway Department of Azerbaijan (SRDA) attended the event.
The jubilee session focused on the issues of the organizational structures of the IRU in the light of the globalization program on the development of high-speed movements. Debates were organized on the establishment of the Department for high-speed movements, IRU's 2006 financial report and other issues of co-operation in the direction of the development of the rail links between the countries was also discussed.
Reports were delivered by the President of "Russian Railway Department" JSC, Vladimir Yakunin , Chairman of IRU, Jay Batra and other representatives from various countries.
The reporters highlighted the necessity of deep integration of the railways of various countries into the inter-regional and international transport-economic relations.
According to Yakunin , on the 19th of June he will meet with the representatives from Azerbaijan and Iran. In particular, the sides will discuss the implementation process of the North-South transport corridor project, which envisages establishing railway lines from Europe to India and countries of South-East Asia via Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. "We hope that we can reach an agreement on the work of the project," he said.
The cost of the project totals more than $400 mln. yet a large part of work should be implemented in Iran, which has no existing railway links to the border of Azerbaijan. Certain work amounting to $20 mln should be realized in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani experts consider that there is no necessity to hurry in realizing the project. The volume of the work in Azerbaijan is minute. It needs to construct nearly 8.5km of railway section up to Astara ( Azerbaijan) Station. In addition, it needs to construct a border railway bridge.