First Russian shipments to India have recently taken place
Russia and Turkmenistan are planning to launch a regular container service along the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), according to Oleg Belozerov, the CEO of Russian Railways.
Turkmenistan officially joined the INSTC last month and has a Caspian Sea Port at Turkmenbashi, which provides rail access to Uzbekistan and further east to China. Russia’s Caspian seaports are on the Caspian northern coast in the Astrakhan region and additionally provide shipping access to the massive Volga River.
The INSTC also bisects Iran from its Caspian seaports at Chabahar and Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf and connects with the Middle East, East Africa, Pakistan, India and South Asia. The first container trains and trains carrying fertilizer have been dispatched from Russia to India through the Iranian port of Bander Abbas.
“The organisation of shipments of coke, metallurgical products and a number of other goods through Turkmenistan and Iran to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and some other countries is being explored.” Belozerov said.
Russian exports along the Turkmenistan eastern route of the North-South corridor could top 5 million tonnes per year by 2025, according to estimates.