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Crimea eyeing unique Iran trade link involving Volga

Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a potential starting point for exports to Iran through Volga.

Crimea says it is looking into the option of establishing what could be a unique cross-continental maritime trade route with Iran, expressing hope that the innovation would help both nations dodge the impacts of sanctions imposed on them.    

Georgy Muradov, Crimea's permanent representative under the Russian president, was quoted by media as saying that the ambitious trade route would take cargos to Iran through Russia’s - and Europe’s - longest river Volga and its downward extension into the Caspian Sea.

A vital section in the project, Muradov added, would be the Volga-Don canal

The official further said that a separate route involving a railroad from Crimea to Iran was also on agenda. 

“Trade will be made possible by the launch of rail traffic. The planned rail route is Crimea – the North Caucasus – Azerbaijan – Iran,” Muradov told Izvestiya newspaper in a report that was also carried by the website of Russia Today television network.

The connection between Crimea and Iran could be part of a much larger project. Moscow and Tehran have long been interested in developing the North-South transport corridor. Part of it will go along the western coast of the Caspian Sea from Russia to Iran through Azerbaijan, the report added.

The North-South corridor, when built, is expected to significantly reduce the time for cargo transport from India to Central Asia and Russia. At present, it takes about 40 days to ship goods from Mumbai in India to Moscow. The new route will be able to cut this time to 14 days. The price will also be cheaper than shipping goods through the traditional Suez Canal, the report concluded. 

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