MOSCOW, April 13./TASS/. The recent incident with the blocking of the Suez Canal shows the importance of creating the North-South international transport corridor, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with IRNA news agency on Monday.
"We hope that the North-South ITC will eventually serve as the basis for the creation of a single "seamless" transport, logistics, and economic space stretching from the southern coasts of Iran to northern cities of Russia," Lavrov said.
"Addressing such a task appears especially relevant at the moment when the recent incident with the blocking of the Suez Canal has highlighted the need for reliable land transport routes," the Russian foreign minister stressed.
Russia and Iran play a leading role in the implementation of this project, since most part of the land route runs through their territories, he pointed out. "Building modern road infrastructure is of special importance in this regard," Lavrov said.
"The development of cooperation between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union also serves the goal of the successful functioning of the transport corridor," he went on to say. "It was formalized in 2018 by signing of the Interim Agreement enabling formation of a free trade area (entered into force in October 2019). On 11 December 2020, a decision was taken to conclude a permanent agreement on the free trade area," the top diplomat said.
"For our part, we will continue to assist this work in every possible way," he pledged.
The North-South international transport corridor is a multimodal 7,200-kilometer-long route for the transportation of passengers and cargoes from Russia’s St. Petersburg to the Indian port of Mumbai. It will connect, in particular, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and India. It is expected that the corridor will not only reduce time, but will also make the cargo delivery cheaper.