Putin says hopes for soon Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan cargo traffic deal
MOSCOW/TEHRAN, May 17 (PRIME) -- Moscow hopes that an agreement between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan on railway infrastructure and cargo traffic cooperation would be signed soon, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at the signing of a deal to build the Rasht-Astara railway.
"We are closely cooperating with Azerbaijan in the context of establishment of this (NorthЦSouth) corridor which we are speaking about. We hope for an as soon as possible completion of preparation of an agreement of cooperation for development of railway infrastructure and cargo traffic on the NorthЦSouth route in trilateral format with participation of the Azeri side," Putin said.
Putin said that the multimodal transport corridor would be a competitive alternative to the current cargo transportation options, as it would take only about 10 days to carry goods from St. Petersburg to Mumbai, the end points of the future corridor, whereas the current time amounts to 30Ц45 days.
He also said that the corridor would be used for transport of food and other types of cargo to Iran, the Persian Gulf states and Africa.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia would issue a 1.3 billion euro intergovernmental loan on construction of the RashtЦAstara railway. The overall cost of the project is estimated at 1.6 billion euros.