Marat Khairullin in the center.

Marat Khairullin in the center.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin has articulated a bold vision for Russia's transport corridors, emphasizing the strategic imperative of extending routes to the Indian Ocean through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Speaking at the "Knowledge. The First" educational marathon within the framework of the World Youth Festival in the Russian Federation, Khusnullin underscored the significance of expanding transport networks to unlock new trade routes, circumventing traditional maritime passages such as the Suez Canal and the Bosphorus Strait.

Khusnullin, who oversees the transport sector in the Russian government, has been a vocal advocate for accelerating the development of the North-South corridor—a key component of Russia's broader transport strategy aimed at bolstering connectivity with southern and eastern regions. At the scientific and practical conference of the Federal Road Agency in April 2023, Khusnullin emphasized the pivotal role of regional cooperation in advancing the development of the country's road infrastructure, particularly within the context of international transport corridors.

The geopolitical imperatives of shifting logistics chains towards southern and eastern directions have catalyzed Russia's ambitious road and railway projects, including the landmark "Russia" route from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok and the international "North-South" corridor. Notably, Khusnullin highlighted the importance of enhancing railway infrastructure in the Eastern Landfill—a strategic endeavor aimed at facilitating greater connectivity and trade flows with Eastern markets.

Central to Russia's transport ambitions is the construction of bypasses around key cities along the Caspian Sea, including Astrakhan, Khasavyurt, Derbent, and Makhachkala—a concerted effort to streamline transit routes and bolster access to burgeoning markets in the East. The reconstruction of automobile checkpoints on the Russian-Azerbaijani border further underscores Russia's commitment to enhancing trade facilitation and border infrastructure.

Against the backdrop of the XIV International Economic Forum "Russia - the Islamic World: KazanForum 2023," Khusnullin underscored the growing economic interest from Muslim countries in collaboration with Russia, particularly in the realm of logistics and trade. The North-South corridor has emerged as a focal point of interest for countries across the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and beyond, with opportunities for collaboration spanning diverse sectors, including agriculture, technology transfer, and energy cooperation.

Khusnullin's remarks underscore Russia's strategic pivot towards southern and eastern markets, driven by economic imperatives and geopolitical considerations. As Russia seeks to diversify its trade routes and deepen engagement with regional partners, the realization of ambitious transport corridors linking the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean heralds a new chapter in Russia's quest for enhanced connectivity, economic integration, and geopolitical influence on the global stage.


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