MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. The conclusion of the agreement between Russia and Iran on the joint construction of the Rasht-Astara railway section is a landmark moment for the entire global transport infrastructure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the signing ceremony of the relevant agreement on Wednesday. The ceremony was held via a video link.
The Russian leader thanked Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for his personal involvement in the project. "This is indeed a great event for the region, for the entire world transport infrastructure, for our countries," Putin stressed.
"Thank you for supporting it (the project - TASS). I was very glad to see you and hope to continue our contacts with you both in absentia and in person. All the best and see you again, congratulations to everyone again," the Russian president said, addressing his Iranian counterpart.
The document was signed in Tehran by Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.
According to the document, Moscow and Tehran will jointly finance the design, construction, as well as the supply of goods and services.
Some 170 km long, the Rasht-Astara line is designed to link land sections of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which will boost the economic efficiency of the trans-Caspian route. It is planned that the Rasht-Astara line will be built by Moscow and Tehran, while the Astara (Iranian city) - Astara (Azerbaijani city) line will be constructed by Moscow, Tehran, and Baku.
In March, the first deputy head of Russian Railways, Sergey Pavlov, reported that the estimated cost of construction was $1.6 billion. According to Iranian estimates, the construction of the Rasht-Astara section will take four years. Pavlov did not rule out the possibility of the project being completed earlier.