North-South International Transport Corridor
The foundation of the North-South Transport Corridor was laid on the basis of the intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran and India on September 12, 2000. Azerbaijan joined this agreement in 2005. In total, 13 countries have ratified the agreement (the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Armenia, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Sultanate of Oman, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine).
The aim of the Corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargos from India to Russia, as well as to Northern and Western Europe (at present delivery time on this route is over 6 weeks, but it is expected to be 3 weeks via North-South).
The project is planned in the direction of Northern and Western Europe – the Russian Federation, then in three more directions:
In accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 7, 2015 “On acceleration of work on the Azerbaijani part of the North-South international transport corridor,” the following measures were taken:
The Azerbaijani side continues construction of a railway station and terminals to unload goods on an area of 35 hectares in Astara (Iran).
To connect the railways of Azerbaijan with the Iranian railway network within the corridor:
On March 28, 2018, as part of the visit of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Azerbaijan, an Agreement was signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran on financing the construction of a section of the Astara-Resht railway in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
After the completion of all infrastructure projects within the corridor, it will be possible to organize direct railway transport of goods from Baku to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through Iran.
The volume of expected cargo traffic along the corridor is envisaged at the first stage – 5 million tons per year, in the future – 10 million tons.
Oil and oil products, mineral fertilizers, cement, chemicals, etc. are mainly transported from the Iranian side, and grain crops and timber products – to Iran.