By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan and Lithuania seek to further strengthen bilateral cooperation by carrying out joint projects in various sectors, including transport.
Lithuania offers Azerbaijan to consider the possibility of partnership in the Europe-China transportation chain, Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania told Trend.
“An important moment in the Lithuanian-Azerbaijani cooperation in the transport sector is Azerbaijan’s joining the international railway project Viking Train, which connects the network of container train routes of the Baltic, Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. Moreover, Lithuania offers Azerbaijan to consider the possibility of partnership in the Europe-China transportation chain via TRACECA multimodal transport corridor (Dostik-Aktau-Baku (Alat) ports),” the ministry said.
The Ministry noted that the two countries have confirmed their willingness to expand cooperation in the field of road transport and cargo transportation and to conclude an agreement on cooperation in the field of international transport, passenger and freight transport by road.
“In addition, Lithuania is ready to continue working on a project of an agreement between the two countries about the sea transport,” ministry said.
Note that the main aim of Viking Train project is to ensure access of Nordic countries to the Black Sea region via Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine and further deliveries of cargo to Azerbaijan, Iran, Central Asia, Far East, and India. According to estimates, cargo deliveries from India to Northern Europe through this corridor takes 20 days, while those from China take 16-18 days. By comparison, cargo deliveries via alternative routes take 35-40 days.
In May 2016, Azerbaijan signed a protocol about the joining of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC to the "Viking train" project. Viking Train is a joint project of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine railways, stevedoring companies in Klaipeda, Odessa and Chernomorsk seaports, connecting Baltic and Black seas with railways. The regular runs were launched on February 6, 2003.
The main benefits of the Viking train include lower shipping cost, fixed schedule, reduced transit time, safety and security of goods, facilitated customs and border procedures, linkage with Baltic and Black seas and project’s environment-friendliness.
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