North-South Corridor from Russia to Kazakhstan to India

The new route will not compete with China's One Belt One Road project

Incontro tra Mishustin (a sinistra) e Bektenov

The number of “corridor” projects for intercontinental transportation is growing. The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) may soon be added to the list of strategic routes that include One Belt One Road, known as China’s New Silk Road, and New Delhi’s India – Middle East – Israel – Europe route, through which Russia and Kazakhstan are seeking to increase trade with Iran, as well as India.

The Economic Times, India’s largest economic and financial newspaper, writes today that the INSTC project was at the center of talks in Moscow on March 4 between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and his Kazakh counterpart Olzhas Bektenov. The North-South Corridor project will consist of at least three different routes. The first stage would be to build a new railroad that would connect Russia with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, two former Soviet republics of Central Asia, and finally reach Iran. The so-called “western” route will go towards Azerbaijan, with the construction of the Trans-Caspian sea section in the plans. Finally, the third, “eastern” route will cross the territories of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan and finally reach the northern states of India.

To implement all these maxi-projects, the ministries of transport and administrations of state railroads of Russia, Central Asian republics, Azerbaijan, Iran, and India are studying the possibility of creating one or more mixed-type companies. In 2023, the volume of cargo transported by Russia – Middle Asia railroads amounted to 2.1 million tons, which is 4% more than the results recorded in 2022.