Russia, Iran to build 20 cargo ships amid growing bilateral trade
The two nations agree to set up a joint venture that will be in charge of shipbuilding and procurement operations.
Russia and Iran have agreed to jointly build 20 cargo vessels as trade between the two continues to grow, Iranian media reported on Thursday.
ISNA news agency confirmed that the two nations agreed to set up a joint venture that will be in charge of shipbuilding and procurement operations.
The pact was signed in the presence of a Russian presidential envoy.
The announcement comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, discussed ways of bolstering trade and economic cooperation between their two countries.
The joint venture will operate on a maritime route that connects St. Petersburg in western Russia to the port of Mumbai on India's west coast.
The 4,500-mile-long route will run through Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.
Iran, Russia sign $1.6bln agreement to build Rasht-Astara railway
On Wednesday, Russia and Iran also signed an agreement worth $1.6 billion to build the Rasht-Astara railway, a project in northern Iran that will be key to the transit of cargo through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and Russia’s Minister of Transport Vitaly Saveliev signed the agreement in Tehran in a ceremony that was attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended via a video conference link.
According to the state-run Iranian news agency IRNA, the 162-kilometer railway will connect the Iranian city of Rasht near the Caspian Sea to Astara on the border with Azerbaijan.
The agency explained that once completed, the Rasht-Astara railway will allow rail freight transport from the Gulf to Helsinki in Finland via Russia's Saint Petersburg.
Raisi described the agreement as "a major and strategic development" in cooperation between Iran and Russia.
The Iranian President thanked his Russian counterpart for supporting the project, pointing out that the completion of the INSTC would benefit not only the two nations but also all countries in the region.
On his part, Putin said the launch of the Rasht-Astara railway in Iran will allow diversifying global traffic flows, adding that such transportation will have competitive advantages.
The Russian President expressed Moscow's hope that the agreement between Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan on cooperation in the development of railway and cargo transportation will be signed promptly.
He indicated that the INSTC corridor will play a major role in guaranteeing food security in Iran and countries in the Gulf region.
Putin highlighted that Russian-Iranian relations are at their highest level, emphasizing that Moscow pays special attention to ties with Tehran.
Elsewhere, the Russian President thanked Iranian leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei for his support for the growing ties between the two countries.
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