A Relatively Quiet Trial Run
Iran and Russia have tested a new trade corridor to transport commodities via India. As the US and its Western allies have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war, Iran has decided to expand maritime trade with Russia and India through new corridors. The experimental supply of products started through this corridor in the third week of June 2022.
IRNA, the official news agency of the West Asian nation, reported that two 40ft cargo containers, loaded with wood laminate sheets and weighing 41 tonnes, arrived in the Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan from St Petersburg on June 13. From Astrakhan, the ship shall cross the Caspian again and reach the Iranian port of Anzali for the first time. From there, the container shall arrive at Bandar Abbas port in Persian Gulf by road. Then, the container shall be re-shipped to the Indian port of Nhava Sheva. It is estimated that it will take 25 days for the goods to reach Russia to India via Iran.
Dariush Jamali, the Director of a jointly-owned Iranian-Russian terminal in Astrakhan, stressed that the transfer was being coordinated and managed by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Group and its regional offices in Russia and India. Meanwhile, New Delhi has thanked Iran for transferring Russian goods to India by using the new trade corridor, saying in a statement that the revival of a stalled project to develop the North-South Transit Corridor, using Iran to link Russia to Asian markets, would certainly boost regional trade. The plan involves eventually constructing a railway line that could transport goods, arriving at Caspian Sea ports in Iran, to the South Eastern port of Chabahar.
In a separate development, Moscow has offered admission to the Indian Students, who used to study at various universities in Ukraine before the Russian invasion, in Russian Universities. Thousands of Indian medical students left Ukraine after the invasion on February 24, 2022. Roman Babushkin, the Deputy Chief of Russian Embassy in India, recently said that “these students could continue with their respective courses from where they left off”. Speaking at a media conference in New Delhi on June 12, he stressed that nearly 20,000 Indian students, who fled Ukraine, would not have to lose out on their previous academic years. However, the cost of studying in Russia would be much higher than in Ukraine.
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