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Flow of cargo traffic via North-South transport corridor to reach 60-100 mln tons

The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, met with veterans, builders and employees of the Baikal-Amur Mainline on Monday

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The flow of cargo traffic via the North-South international transport corridor may reach up to 60-100 mln tons in the future, depending on necessity and relevance, Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev told reporters.

The minister took part in the meeting between Russian and Azerbaijani presidents, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, with veterans, builders and employees of the Baikal-Amur Mainline on Monday. Putin mentioned the development of the North-South corridor during the conversation among other things, stating that Moscow invites all interested states to participate in the project.

"In the future [the flow of cargo traffic may rise to] 60-100 mln tons from today’s 7-15 mln tons, which we project for the near future. It will gradually develop, growing to 15, 30, 60 and so on, depending on necessity, on how relevant it is," Savelyev told reporters after the meeting when asked about the scale of cargo flow projected on this corridor.

"In fact, we have quite serious expectations, and we believe that this corridor will be one of the main ones," he added.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who attended the meeting, also mentioned the development of this transport corridor when speaking with reporters, and one of its elements, the Rasht-Astara railroad section in particular. "The president also said today that another step has been taken in the development of the construction of the Rasht-Astara railroad in particular, which is the road across Azerbaijan and Iran," he noted.

In turn, Savelyev said that the work on construction of this section is underway. "The Rasht-Astara section, which we are to build together with Iranians, some 162 kilometers, we are addressing it. We expect to finalize the project in 2027-2028. And concurrently the Azerbaijani side is improving its part of the road, which allows carrying 7 mln tons today. We want to increase it to 15 mln tons and even higher," the minister said.