Iran, Russia work on North-South Corridor's dev't through Azerbaijan - Armenia left out

Politics Materials 17 May 2023 13:35 (UTC +04:00)
Iran, Russia work on North-South Corridor's dev't through Azerbaijan - Armenia left out

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 17. Iran and Russia have signed an agreement on the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, which passes through Azerbaijan, today in Tehran, Trend reports citing Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

The fact that another section of the North-South Transport Corridor will be built through Azerbaijan, and not through Armenia, indicated that Azerbaijan is now more attractive than ever, as the country creates all conditions to ensure safe transit in the shortest possible time.

Azerbaijan’s modern railway, automobile and maritime transport infrastructure saves money and time. No wonder that the volume of cargo transit through Azerbaijan increased by more than 75 percent over the last year.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the event online. The agreement was signed by Iran's Roads and Urban Development Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash and Russia's Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev.

According to the agreement, the Russian side will spend 1.6 billion euros on the construction of this part of the railway. The construction is planned to be completed within 48 months.

The ministry said that nine stations will be built on the Rasht-Astara railway line, which is about 163 km long. With the completion of the construction of this railway, the International North-South Transport Corridor will be improved and Iran's railway network will be connected to the Caucasus countries, Russia and Northern European countries.

Iran has already started construction of its Rasht-Astara railway line, however, due to the high cost of construction, the country is looking to attract foreign investment. According to the Iranian side, a total of 200 trillion rials (about $4.76 billion) is needed for the construction of this railway line.

The foundation of the ‘International North-South Transport Corridor’ was laid on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran, and India on September 12, 2000. In general, a number of countries have ratified the agreement. (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Russia, Tajikistan, Türkiye, and Ukraine).

The purpose of creating a corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargo from India to Russia, as well as to North and West Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than six weeks, it is expected to be reduced to three weeks via North-South Transport Corridor.

Iran's 175 km-long Qazvin-Rasht railway was officially put into operation on March 6, 2019, to connect Azerbaijani railways with the Iranian railway network within the corridor. In addition, the 167 km long Rasht-Astara railway line will be built in Iran.