India to send first cargo to Russia thru INSTC


India says it is preparing to send a consignment to Russia through a much-awaited new intercontinental multi-modal corridor (INSTC) that connects its port city of Mumbai to Russia’s St Petersburg.
The consignment would depart for Iran’s Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas in mid-January and would be thereon taken through the Iranian territory to Azerbaijan’s Baku through road and rail. It would be then taken to Russia by train.
India’s media reported that this would formally launch the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) that had been in the making for 17 years. Nevertheless, the INSTC would technically function fully in a few months thereafter, reported the Economic Times.
The report added that hectic preparations were already underway to firm up all elements of the corridor in all key stakeholder states and that a Russian railway operator was expected to play key role in the INSTC.
The ship, road and rail route connects India’s Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bander Abbas and further to Baku in Azerbaijan as well as Astrakhan, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia before stretching to northern Europe and Scandinavia.
Currently, a cargo from India to Russia is carried on freight ships via the Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel and then the Baltic Sea.
The INSTC – which has an estimated cargo capacity of 20-30 million tonnes of goods per year – is expected to provide faster and more efficient trade connectivity between Europe and Southeast Asia.—Agencies

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