Russian Railways aims to transport 1 million tons of cargo along the eastern branch of the international North-South transport corridor through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan this year, News Central Asia media outlet reported on Friday, citing Oleg Belozerov, CEO of Russian Railways announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2023).
“This year we agreed with colleagues from Kazakhstan, Iran, and Turkmenistan to try to transfer 1 million tons by rail,” Belozerov said.
The eastern branch of the route is complete, while the Rasht-Astara railway with a length of 162 km needs to be jointly built with Iran on the western branch of the railway.
Belozerov further noted that in January-May of 2023, cargo transportation increased by 42%, reaching 4 million tons. He expressed optimism for the potential of the corridor, predicting that it will eventually reach 100 million tons. “Last year showed the strategic importance of the North-South railway for Russia, we need to develop it even more actively,” the CEO stressed.
According to the statement made by the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi at the international economic forum "Russia - Islamic World: KazanForum", the total volume of funds of the North-South ITC logistics project will exceed $2 trillion by 2030.