July 6, 2022
Indian Foreign Minister Vinay Kvatra had a telephone conversation with Iranian Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani. The conversation was the latest in a series of high-level talks to bring a shorter, sanctions-free route between Russia and India into operation. At the same time, more than a dozen countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus could use this corridor, the Indian newspaper The Tribune reports on its website.
The parties discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, including the successful development in the Chabahar port, as well as international and regional issues, including Afghanistan.
The telephone conversation came two weeks after the Iranian state shipping company announced that it had successfully completed the first transportation of transit cargo from Russia to India via the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). India is pushing for the Iranian port of Chabahar to be included in the INSTC.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking about the importance of the INSTC corridor, said that Moscow would pay more attention to it, as it could help turn the Caspian Basin into an energy and logistics center.
The newspaper draws attention to the fact that 18+ countries attracted to the INSTC route have never been active supporters of the unilateral sanctions periodically announced by the West.
In June, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited India and held regional partnership talks that reviewed the progress made at the “Shahid Behesti” Terminal in Chabahar, which will provide sea access for Afghanistan and become a commercial transit hub for the region, including Central Asia.
Notably, a few days later, India abstained from voting against Iran at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
For example, last month a test shipment of 41 tons of laminated wood sheets was sent from St. Petersburg to the Russian port of Astrakhan. From Astrakhan, the cargo was transported to the Iranian Caspian port of Anzali. Then it was taken by road through Iran to Bandar Abbas, from where the cargo was sent to Indian Mumbai. The delivery took 24 days and will probably get faster when the construction of the Trans-Iranian railway is completed.
Usually, cargo from South Asia goes through the Suez Canal to the ports of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), Piraeus (Greece) and Valencia (Spain). All these seaports are subject to unilateral sanctions imposed by the West, the Indian newspaper notes.