Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan form new working group to boost North-South Corridor

    REGION  17 June 2024 - 09:12

    Representatives from Moscow, Tehran, and Baku have agreed to establish a working group on freight transportation within the framework of the international North-South Transport Corridor.

    This initiative includes inspecting border and customs terminals at the Russian-Azerbaijani and Azerbaijani-Iranian borders. The announcement was made by Andrey Tanayev, the representative of the Dagestan government at the Russian trade mission in Iran, who participated in the expert meeting dedicated to forming the working group as part of the Russian delegation, Caliber.Az reports citing Russian media.

    "We held a trilateral expert-level meeting between the Russian, Azerbaijani, and Iranian delegations in Derbent and inspected customs and border checkpoints, including 'Astara Iranian,' 'Astara Azerbaijani,' 'Astara South Azerbaijani,' 'Tagirkent-Kazmalyar,' and 'Yarag-Kazmalyar,'" said Tanayev.

    Tanayev explained that agreements to hold this meeting with the Iranian side were reached in February 2024 during the Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Tehran. The commission was chaired by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji. "With the Azerbaijani side, we agreed on a bilateral basis," Tanayev added. "Before the trilateral meeting, we also organized negotiations between representatives of Russia and Iran, where general issues were discussed."

    Highlighting the efficiency of the checkpoint procedures, Tanayev noted, "At the 'Yarag-Kazmalyar' checkpoint, everything operates on a one-stop-shop principle—documents are submitted, prepared within 30-40 minutes, handed over to the driver, and he departs." He also shared positive feedback from a truck driver at the checkpoint.

    Tanayev emphasized that the trilateral expert group's meeting on freight transportation issues was the first in almost ten years. A total of 27 experts participated in the meeting, nine from each side.

    The Russian delegation was led by Sergey Semenov, Director of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Automobile and Urban Passenger Transport of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. The delegation also included representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, the Federal Customs Service, and the Federal Service for Transport Supervision.

    Russian authorities have high expectations for the North-South Corridor, seeing it as a potential alternative to the Suez Canal. This new route could provide a direct path for deliveries both in transit to Europe and from Russia to the Persian Gulf. The crucial land section of the corridor runs between Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran, with the majority of current transportation along this route being carried out by freight trucks.


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