Russia nudges Azerbaijan to play active role in INSTC that would boost trade with India

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Russia has nudged Azerbaijan to play an active role to boost the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that is a key trade link between India and Russia. INSTC is the key transport corridor between Mumbai and St Petersburg via Iran. There are plans to link INSTC with the North Sea Route of the Arctic and the Chabahar Port in future.Azerbaijan has been slow in full implementation of INSTC, which has otherwise contributed to increase in India-Russia trade since 2022. Armenia is also interested in developing a branch of INSTC. While the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan route is another branch of INSTC, another branch is the Iran-Caspian Sea route. Russia invited all the interested countries to participate in development of the INSTC, President Vladimir Putin said at the joint meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Moscow on Monday.”Just as the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), which became indeed the all-Union construction project, was called to serve interests of all the [Soviet] Union republics, the North-South transport corridor should become an example of the broadest international cooperation,” Putin said. “We invite all the interested countries to take part in this project,” he noted.The INSTC resembles the BAM by its scale, Putin said. “It actually links the Northern Sea Route to the Persian Gulf,” the Russian leader said, adding that the route is being laid “for purposes of expedited economic and social development of Eurasian and Global South countries.”.Russia’s partners in BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway upgrade can receive access to growing Asia-Pacific markets, Putin told Aliyev indicating Russia’s role in giving Eurasian states in South Caucasus access to the Pacific.”We are ready to offer access to quickly growing markets of the Asia-Pacific Region to our partners. To this end we intend to implement plans of expedited upgrade of BAM, the Trans-Siberian Railway, development of the entire eastern range of railroads on the basis of advanced technologies,” the Russian President said.”Implementation of these plans is also of paramount importance to strengthen the connectivity of our country, for our political and economic sovereignty,” Putin added.

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