Tehran, Moscow Consider Rail Link to Challenge Suez

Russia’s transport minister, Maxim Sokolovm, said Tehran and Moscow are considering establishing a rail link that would foster trade connectivity through a less trodden path than the Suez Canal.

“If the rail link to Iran is built, it can take some share of the cargo that’s being transported via Suez,” Sokolov said in an interview on Monday, Bloomberg reported.

He added that plans for the railroad may be completed next year.

It will be built as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC), a multi-model route to link India and the Middle East to the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe, which will significantly reduce costs and travel time and boost trade.

For trade, India currently uses maritime transport to link with Russia. From St. Petersburg, the cargo has to sail around the entire western part of Europe and the Suez Canal which takes around 40 days to reach Mumbai.

According to the Russian Railways Logistics, the new route cuts the time just to 14 days and eliminates the need to pass through the Suez Canal, which is not only overloaded, but also very expensive.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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