Russia reaffirms commitment to Iran's Rasht-Astara railway for international transit corridor

(MENAFN) Roman Vladimirovich, the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, has emphasized the strategic significance of Iran's Rasht-Astara railway, highlighting its pivotal role as the missing link within the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC). During a specialized meeting held on the sidelines of the 27th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Minister Vladimirovich reiterated Russia's unwavering commitment to completing the Rasht-Astara railway project, underscoring its potential to enhance regional rail connectivity and bolster transportation networks.

Acknowledging the ongoing collaboration between Russia and Iran in advancing the Moscow-Tehran agreement, Minister Vladimirovich expressed optimism regarding the project's successful implementation and its anticipated positive impact on rail traffic in the region. He affirmed Russia's dedication to fostering cooperation within the framework of the INSTC, highlighting the signing of memorandums of understanding on transportation and transit with Iran, Turkmenistan, and Bahrain from 2022 to 2024, while also expressing intentions to engage with other countries involved in the corridor.

In April, Deputy Minister of Russian Railways Sergey Pavlov and Iran's Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali convened to discuss the progress of the Rasht-Astara railway project, signaling the advancing collaboration between Tehran and Moscow. During the meeting, both parties emphasized the ongoing efforts to finalize the draft contract for the implementation of the railway agreement, reflecting the shared commitment to advancing bilateral infrastructure initiatives.

The signing of the agreement on May 17 marked a significant milestone in the long-stalled construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, spanning 162 kilometers (100.6 miles). Serving as a critical component of the INSTC, the railway corridor integrates road, rail, and sea transportation, facilitating seamless movement of goods between Russia and India via Iran. The virtual ceremony, attended by late Iranian Leader Ebrahim Raisi and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin, underscored the strategic importance of the railway project in fostering economic cooperation and regional integration between the two nations.



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