Russia Wants Rail Link to Iran

A00234354.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Moscow hopes to have a rail connection with Iran, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin recently remarked in Yerevan.

“The rail link between Armenia and Iran is part of the north-south railway corridor and entering Iran via Armenia is a key part of this route for Russia,” he said, according to the news agency Regnum.

He also underlined the importance of restoring the rail network in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, which has been shut since the 1992-93 separatist conflict.

He added that he hoped recent statements from Tbilisi pledging a willingness to improve frosty relations with Russia would make reopening the railway in Abkhazia possible.

Russia has imposed a trade embargo with Georgia since 2006 and the border between the two countries is closed. Currently, Armenia’s only cargo transit route to Russia is via the Kavkaz-Poti ferry link over the Black Sea.

Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways JSC – which recently acquired management rights to the Armenian rail network – announced on January 16 that Armenia and Iran are currently in talks on the possibility of connecting the two countries’ rail systems.

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