Russia has announced plans to export coal to India using Iran’s railways. This announcement was made during the BRICS transport ministers’ meeting at the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Russia will use the International North-South Corridor (INSTC) to send coal to India. Igor Levitin, Russia’s presidential aide, stated that the first coal shipments will travel through Iran and Bandar Abbas before reaching India.

Mehrdad Bazrpash, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development, emphasized the importance of the INSTC in enhancing transportation and transit among BRICS countries. During a video conference, he noted that this corridor could significantly boost synergy in the region.

In a meeting with Iran’s Ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, Levitin reiterated that the first coal wagons would transit through Iran and Bandar Abbas en route to India. Both sides discussed cooperation, particularly the Rasht-Astara Railway construction project. This project is crucial for improving transportation links between Iran and Russia.

In a separate meeting, Oleg Belozyorov, president of Russian Railways, discussed expanding bilateral cooperation with Iran’s ambassador. They focused on implementing the INSTC and enhancing railway cooperation to boost freight transport between the two nations.

Belozyorov stressed the importance of promoting bilateral relations and developing railway infrastructure to facilitate increased cargo transportation. Jalali also highlighted the Rasht-Astara railway project as vital for Iran, Russia, and other regional countries.

In February 2024, Mehrdad Bazrpash hosted Igor Levitin in Tehran to discuss accelerating the Rasht-Astara Railway Project. This project, agreed upon in July 2023, aims to improve transit along the INSTC.

In 2023, Russia transported 600,000 tons of freight through Iran. This volume is expected to rise to 4 million tons per year in 2024, according to Russia’s Deputy Minister of transport. This significant increase underscores the importance of the INSTC for regional trade and cooperation.

Through these efforts, Russia aims to strengthen its trade links with India, utilizing Iran’s strategic location and railway network to facilitate efficient coal exports.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News