22 Jun 2022 09:31

Russia in talks with partner countries on reorienting freight traffic to North-South transport corridor

MOSCOW. June 22 (Interfax) - Russia's Transport Ministry is holding negotiations with partner countries on reorienting freight traffic to the North-South International Transport Corridor (ITC), but it is also maintaining its forecast for freight shipments along Russia's eastern railways, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said.

"The most important corridor is North-South. This is freight that goes to India, that can go further to our territory through the Caspian Sea. This corridor roughly splits into three corridors: the western corridor, with the participation of railways; the Trans-Caspian corridor, which goes through the Caspian Sea; and the eastern branch that goes through Turkmenistan," Savelyev said in an interview with Nailya Asker-Zade on TV channel Rossiya 24.

"We're holding negotiations with our partners, with our partner countries, and I'm meeting with the transport ministers of these countries. We're discussing this openly. We see that there are such solutions. We see that reorientation is underway," Savelyev said.

As for the Azov-Black Sea basin, work is underway on reorienting freight traffic through friendly countries.

"There will now be coordination. While before we went in one direction, now the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam are closed to us, as is Hamburg, and we're starting to reorient, just from the other side. We're opening ports in friendly countries, we're establishing hubs there and we're starting to ship freight through these hubs also to our Russian territory, export-import freight. I think that we'll manage this, because we're already seeing that our first outlines show that this is working," Savelyev said.

"The third big route is the eastern railways and development of ports in the Far East. They, of course, will have to be expanded, but right now they are still capable, in terms of capacity, of receiving the freight that is going eastward," Savelyev said.

He recalled that the eastern railways carried 144 million tonnes of freight last year and the figure is expected to grow to 158 million tonnes in 2022. "Next year it's 173 million tonnes and, by order of the president, we're supposed to reach 180 million tonnes in 2024. I think that this is quite realistic and I think that we'll do it," Savelyev said.