Russia eyes to financing of Rasht-Astara railway project
By Nigar Abbasova
Russia may render its assistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the financing of Rasht-Astara (Iran) railway, which is part of the North-South International Transport Corridor.
Moscow will work out and submit proposals to the Iranian side to finance the railway section under the protocol, which was signed during the 13th joint commission on trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Russia in Tehran on December 13.
Russia and Iran have also agreed to present in the three months’ period their companies, which have the potential and opportunities for the construction of a joint plant for the production of rails in Iran. The project also involves the transfer of technology between the countries.
The sides also expressed interest in developing cooperation in the field of organizing railway transportation, designing and construction of facilities of the railway infrastructure, repair and maintenance of the rolling stock.
Rasht-Astara (Iran) line will be built with the participation of Russia and Iran, while the Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) line is expected to be built with the participation of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan.
Russian Railways has repeatedly expressed interest to participate in the implementation of the project both in terms of supply of materials for track structure and other possible aspects.
First Vice-President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin earlier said that the Russian Railways already received a business plan, studied it and prepared proposals, which will be introduced to the Azerbaijani and Iranian sides in the near future. He didn’t specify the amount of the funds that the Russian Railways is ready to provide to co-finance the project.
Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia have recently signed a joint declaration to affirm their intent to develop deep and comprehensive cooperation in various areas, including the implementation of the North-South Transport Corridor transnational project, which bears strategic importance and possesses high economic viability.
At the initial stage, the North-South corridor will transport 5 million tons of cargo per year with further expansion in the volumes of transportation up to 10 million tons.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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